VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwired) -- 08/28/13 -- Africa Oil Corp. (TSX VENTURE: AOI)(OMX: AOI) ("Africa Oil", "the Company" or "AOC") is pleased to announce its financial and operating results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2013.
-- On the back of the successful exploration activities in Kenya during 2012, the Company, together with its partners, continues to ramp up its exploration program in Kenya and Ethiopia. Entering the year, two Tullow-Africa Oil joint venture rigs were operating in Kenya and one joint venture rig was operating in Ethiopia. A fourth Tullow-Africa Oil joint venture rig has been secured and is expected to commence testing and drilling operations in Kenya on Blocks 10BB and 13T during October 2013. The Company, as operator, and its partner in Block 9 (Kenya) have secured a fifth rig, which will commence drilling operations in September 2013. In addition, the Company and its partners in Block 7/8 (Ethiopia) have secured a sixth rig, which will commence drilling operations in September 2013. For a period, the Company will have six drilling rigs operating and expects to exit the year with five rigs operating in the region. The Company plans to have drilled ten exploration wells and to have tested four wells across its exploration blocks during 2013-- During the first half of the year, the Company completed a series of well tests at both Twiga South-1 and Ngamia-1 on Blocks 13T and 10BB in Kenya, respectively. These successful well tests confirmed over 5,000 barrels of oil per day ("bopd") flow potential per well and a doubling of our previous estimates of net oil pay. Ekales-1, the next exploration well in the Basin Bounding Fault Play and on trend with Ngamia-1 and Twiga South-1, commenced drilling in July. Transient Pressure Analysis has been conducted on the Twiga South-1 and Ngamia-1 well tests. No pressure depletion was recorded over the duration of the tests. Flow periods ranged from 0.5 to 2.5 days and build up periods ranged between 3 to 12 days.-- Upon completing testing operations at Ngamia-1 in Block 10BB, the Weatherford 804 rig mobilized to the Ekales-1 well in Block 13T. The Ekales prospect is located on the main basin bounding fault midway between the Ngamia-1 and Twiga South-1 discoveries and is targeting the same formations that were productive in these discoveries. The well spud in July and is expected to be completed around end September.-- In July, the Company announced a new major oil discovery at Etuko-1. Etuko-1 is located 14 kilometers east of Twiga South-1 in Block 10BB and is the first test of the Basin Flank Play in the eastern part of the Basin. The well encountered approximately 40 meters of net oil pay in the Auwerwer and Upper Lokhone targets and approximately 50 meters of additional potential net pay in the Lower Lokhone interval. The well will be tested later in the year.-- In July, the Company reported that the Sabisa-1 well on the South Omo Block in Ethiopia, the most northerly well drilled on the Tertiary rift trend to date, had confirmed a viable hydrocarbon system with oil and heavy gas shows. Based on the encouragement of the results, the decision was made to drill the Tultule-1 as the next well on the South Omo Block. This well is expected to spud around the end August.-- In the first quarter of 2013, the Company and its operating partners on Block 10A completed drilling the Paipai-1 exploration well. The Paipai-1 well tested a large four-way closed structure with Cretaceous-age sandstone targets at multiple depths. Paipai-1 spudded in September 2012 and completed drilling in the first quarter of 2013 to a total depth of 4,255 meters. Light hydrocarbons were encountered while drilling a 55 meter thick gross sandstone interval. Attempts to sample the reservoir fluid were unsuccessful and the hydrocarbons encountered while drilling were not recovered to surface. The Company and its partners were unable to test the well at the time due to the unavailability, in country, of testing equipment capable of handling the higher reservoir pressures encountered at this depth. As a result, the well has been temporarily suspended pending further data evaluation.-- The Company and its partner on Block 9 are currently planning to drill one exploration well in 2013. Block 9 is in the Cretaceous rift basin on trend with the South Sudan oil fields and the play concept was confirmed by the recent Paipai-1 well drilled in Block 10A. Two major prospects, Bahasi-1 and Sala-1, with large volume potential have been identified. The Company, as operator, and its partners in Block 9 have completed construction of the access road and well site for the Bahasi-1 exploration well. The Greatwall GW190 rig has commenced mobilization to site and the well is expected to spud in September.-- The Company and its partners continue to focus on the El Kuran oil accumulation on Block 8, discovered in the early 1970's. After completing reservoir characterization studies, the Company focused efforts on testing and completion strategies for producing commercial quantities of oil and gas. The Company and its joint operating partners on Blocks 7/8 (New Age operated) are planning to drill and test the El Kuran-3 appraisal well. The well site has been constructed, erection of the rig is ongoing at site and the well is expected to spud in September 2013.-- The Company continues to actively acquire, process and interpret 2D seismic over Blocks 10BA, 10BB, 12A, 13T and South Omo. In addition, the Company and its partner in Blocks 10BB and 13T will mobilize a 3D seismic crew to complete a 550 square kilometer 3D seismic survey over the Ngamia and Twiga structures later in 2013.-- In first quarter of 2013, the Company executed a PSC for the Rift Basin Area in Ethiopia. Located north of the South Omo Block, the Rift Basin Area covers 42,519 square kilometers. This block is on trend with highly prospective blocks in the Tertiary rift valley including the South Omo Block in Ethiopia, and Kenyan Blocks 10BA, 10BB, 13T, and 12A. The Company commenced acquiring a Full Tensor Gradiometry survey in May 2013, which is approximately 70% complete, and is conducting an exhaustive environmental and social impact assessment over the block in preparation for a seismic program in 2014.-- Africa Oil ended the quarter in a strong financial position with cash of $179.5 million and working capital of $141.2 million.