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Tullow Oil announces Ngamia-1 well in Kenya Rift Basin discovers further oil

08 May 2012
Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) announces that the Ngamia-1 exploration well onshore Kenya in Block 10BB has now been drilled to an intermediate depth of 1,515 metres and the total net oil pay encountered so far has increased to in excess of 100 metres across multiple reservoir zones.

Following the initial announcement on 26 March 2012, that Ngamia-1 had encountered in excess of 20 metres of net oil pay, the well has now been deepened from 1,041 metres to 1,515 metres. A sidetrack was required in this section and following completion of logging and sampling in difficult hole conditions, a total pay count greater than 100 metres has now been discovered over a gross oil bearing interval of 650 metres. Oil samples with an API greater than 30 degrees have been recovered to surface from the newly drilled section with similar properties to the light waxy crude encountered in the upper reservoir zone.

The Ngamia structure is the first prospect to be tested as part of a multi-well drilling campaign in Kenya and Ethiopia. Many leads and prospects similar to Ngamia have been identified and following this discovery the outlook for further success has significantly improved. Tullow has proposed to the Government an increase in 2D seismic acquisition and the sourcing of an additional rig to increase drilling activities.

The Ngamia-1 well will continue to be drilled to a total depth of approximately 2,700 metres to explore for deeper potential. Plans are being put in place to drill stem test the well although the exact timing of this testing is yet to be decided. The Weatherford 804 rig will then move 31 kilometres to the Tullow Operated Block 13T, where the Twiga-1 (formerly known as Mbango-A) wildcat well will spud in the second half of 2012. A further rig is being sourced to drill the Tullow Operated Block 10A Paipai prospect in Marsabit County.

Tullow has a 50% operated interest in seven onshore licences in the Kenya & Ethiopia Rift Basins covering in excess of 100,000 square kilometres. The basin where the Ngamia discovery has been made is one of seven basins mapped in Tullow’s acreage and is similar in size to the Lake Albert Rift Basin in Uganda.

Tullow (50%) operates Block 10BB and is partnered by Africa Oil (50%).

Commenting today, Angus McCoss, Exploration Director, said:

"This ongoing wildcat is an excellent start to our exploration campaign. The net pay encountered so far in Ngamia-1 is more than double that encountered in any of our East African exploration wells to date. We now look forward to the drilling and evaluation of the deeper potential of this well and the acceleration of our seismic and drilling campaigns in the region."