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Tullow Sees Major Development Progress in Africa

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Tullow Oil reports that it added 222 million barrels in contingent resources in 2013 and that it has recently opened a new oil play in Late Cretaceous turbidites offshore Mauritania.

Africa-focused Tullow Oil reported Wednesday that 2013 saw it add 222 million barrels of oil equivalent to its contingent resources thanks to several exploration and appraisal successes. Meanwhile, the firm acquired new acreage in Suriname, Norway, Namibia and Guyana, boosting its portfolio and helping to diversify it geographically.

Tullow said that its development plan for the TEN project offshore Ghana is on track to achieve first oil in mid-2016 after having been approved by the country's government. Meanwhile, the firm highlighted the government of Kenya's decision to support development studies following commercial discoveries of at least 600 million barrels of oil and Uganda's signing of a memorandum of understanding with partners in the Lake Albert Rift Basin Development Project.

Tullow chose its full-year results day to release news of an exploration success at its Fregate-1 well, offshore Mauritania. This has encountered some 98 feet of gas condensate and oil pay in multiple sands, opening up a new oil play in Late Cretaceous turbidites, it said.

However, although the drill has proved the Fregate oil play it does yet not amount to a commercial result. Tullow said that further assessment and analysis will be required before follow-up activities.

Analysts at investment bank Canaccord Genuity commented: "We had hoped for a commercial discovery here, providing an additional offshore 'leg' to the exploration story. The Fregate well is likely to have been costly, having started drilling in August 2013."

In terms of production, Tullow achieved an average of 84,200 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2013 compared with 79,200 boepd in the previous year, representing a seven-percent increase in production. For 2014, the firm expects to produce between 79,000 and 85,000 boepd.

A former engineer, Jon is an award-winning editor who has covered the technology, engineering and energy sectors since the mid-1990s. Email Jon at


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