Nairobi, Kenya — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 19 May 2011 – Canadian oil and gas explorer Africa Oil Corporation is planning to drill up to eight exploratory wells in blocks in which it holds interests across East Africa, according to a senior company executive.
Africa Oil and its partners hold oil exploration licences in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region.
“We will start a drilling programme in September 2011. Tullow as an operator will drill four to five wells in Kenya, and Africa Oil Corporation and PLP (its Puntland Partner) will drill two wells in Puntland and one well in Ethiopia,” Africa Oil Corporation chief operating officer James Phillips told a regional oil and gas meeting in the Kenyan capital.
Phillips said he had a US$43 million budget for the drilling programme.
Africa Oil expects to finalise a deal to acquire Canada’s Lion Energy Corporation for about US$41.3 million in an all-stock deal to expand its operations in east Africa. “We’ll be closing that deal hopefully in early June,” Phillips said.
Gas discoveries in Tanzania and significant proven oil reserves along the border between Uganda and Congo have peaked interest in the region, which had been largely overlooked.