Tullow tests oil in Kenya, finds indications in Ethiopia

A Tullow Oil PLC group has tested oil from the lowermost pay zone at the Ngamia-1 discovery well in the Lokichar basin in Kenya and encouraging hydrocarbon indications at an exploratory well in southern Ethiopia.

The group recovered 281 b/d of 30° gravity oil on a progressive cavity pump on a drillstem test of the Lower Lokhone formation at the Ngamia-1 well on Block 10BB in Kenya. Logs and MDT sampling had indicated as much as 43 m of potential pay in this zone.

The group will run five more DSTs in the Auwerwer (formerly Upper Lokhone) sandstones, which are the highest quality reservoirs penetrated in the Ngamia well and which produced very well in the recent tests at the Twiga South-1 well, said 50% interest owner Africa Oil Corp., Vancouver, BC. Results of the other DSTs are to be revealed by early June.  Tullow Oil is operator with 50% interest.

Meanwhile on the South Omo block in southern Ethiopia Tullow Oil drilled the Sabisa-1 well to a preliminary total depth of 1,810 m and recorded hydrocarbon indications while drilling in sands beneath a thick claystone top seal. Hole instability issues required the drilling of a sidetrack to comprehensively log and sample these zones of interest.

The sidetrack recently commenced and a result is now expected in late May. The hydrocarbon indications are highly encouraging as they provide emerging evidence for a working petroleum system in the previously undrilled South Omo basin. Block interests are Tullow Oil 50%, Africa Oil 30%, and Marathon Oil Corp. 20%.

Mobilization of the drilling rig from Paipai to the Etuko (previously Kamba) location on Block 10BB in Kenya continues on schedule with a spud date expected in the first half of May.

Drilling preparations are also under way on the El Kuran prospect in Ethiopia. Operator New Age is mobilizing a drilling rig and other services to the location, and the well is expected to spud in the second quarter of this year. The well is being drilled on a large structure previously confirmed to contain light oil in Jurassic carbonates by two boreholes drilled in the 1970s. Interests are New Age 40% and Africa Oil and Afren PLC 30% each.

Africa Oil as operator is in final talks to secure a drilling rig for its Bahasi-1 exploratory well on Block 9 in Kenya. Bahasi will test a large anticlinal feature in the Cretaceous rift trend that has been confirmed to contain hydrocarbons at the Paipai well on Block 10A. Bahasi is expected to spud in the third quarter. Interests are Africa Oil and Marathon Oil 50-50.

Preparations are in progress for a full tensor gradiometry survey on Africa Oil’s newly awarded Rift Basin Area Block (previously the Rift Valley Joint Study Area) in Ethiopia. The survey is expected to commence this month and be completed by the end of the third quarter of 2013. Africa Oil holds a 100% working interest in this block.

Africa Oil chief executive officer Keith Hill said, “The confirmation of potentially commercially viable oil in the Lower Lokhone sands in the Ngamia well will add to the overall resource potential, but also has positive implications for the upcoming Etuko-1 well on the eastern flank of the Lokichar basin. We remain convinced that we have only just begun to unlock the potential of what may be one of the largest new oil basins to be opened in recent times.”

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