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Tullow Oil Expands in Kenya, Ethiopia With Africa Oil License Acquisitions

Tullow Oil Plc, which plans to produce its first oil in Ghana later this year, will expand exploration in Kenya and Ethiopia with the acquisition of interests in six licenses from Africa Oil Corp.

Tullow agreed to buy a 50 percent interest in Blocks 10BB, 10A, 12A and 13T in Kenya; and the South Omo Block in Ethiopia, the London-based explorer said today in a statement. The transaction will expand Tullow’s East Africa assets after last month’s agreement to join the U.K.’s Centric Energy Corp. in exploring Block 10BA in northwestern Kenya.

“This East African Rift Basin acreage shares many geological attributes with Tullow’s Lake Albert Rift Basin position in Uganda, however it is approximately ten times larger,” the U.K. explorer said today. It plans to drill the first well in the acquired area next year.

The 97,000 square kilometer acreage is located 500 kilometers (310 miles) to the east of Lake Albert and “has good evidence of a live oil system,” Tullow said. The Loperot-1 well drilled in 1992 recovered 29 degree on American Petroleum Institute scale waxy crude from Miocene sandstones, it said.

Tullow, which is focusing on projects in Ghana and Uganda, plans to expand East Africa exploration, Angus McCoss, the company exploration director, said last week. In April, it completed drilling at the Likonde-1 well in southern Tanzania.

Africa Oil is part of Lundin Group which was founded by Adolf Lundin, who died in 2006 leaving a group of 11 companies worth more than $10 billion, with mining and mineral assets and oil production in Africa, North and South America and Asia.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eduard Gismatullin in London at egismatullin@bloomberg.net

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