During 2003 Tullow continued to develop its business in its core areas of the UKCS, West Africa and South Asia. More recently, the acquisition of Energy Africa Limited has met our target of achieving production of 50,000 bopd by 2005 while creating a company with an outstanding mix of production interests and development and exploration opportunities, a strong and experienced team and the financial capability to continue to grow rapidly in the years ahead. Since the announcement, a joint integration team has been appointed, and work on effectively combining the businesses is well advanced. A formal outline of the revised targets and strategy for the enlarged business will be made in conjunction with Tullow's Interim Results announcement in September.
The first benefits of the acquisition are already becoming apparent. On 5th July the Joint Development Agreement in respect of the Kudu project offshore Namibia was signed by Tullow and NamPower. This represents the first critical step in a project of national importance for Namibia and has clearly demonstrated the commercial viability of this gas-to-power project, which has an objective of first production in 2009.
In addition to Kudu, other material progress made in our West African assets includes: Uganda, where an additional exploration licence in respect of Block 1 was signed last week, and Equatorial Guinea, where approval of the Development Plan in respect of Northern Block G is expected shortly. Within our UKCS assets, contracts in respect of the Horne & Wren project have recently been awarded, including an unmanned platform installation, with a view to first gas in 2005.
From an exploration perspective, the Group is conducting an extremely active and ongoing program throughout its core areas, with over 10 exploration or development wells currently in progress throughout the portfolio. In recognition of this, rather than reporting on a well-by-well basis, Tullow will henceforth provide regular drilling activity updates, encompassing all material assets and wells. The next such update will be following the conclusion of the Bangora well in Bangladesh.
Tullow recently announced its intention to appoint an additional independent non-executive director and I am today delighted to announce the appointment of David Bamford to the Board of Tullow. David has over 23 years exploration experience with BP where he was Chief Geophysicist from 1990 to 1995, served as General Manager for BP in West Africa for a 3 year period from 1995 to 1998, and most recently acted as Vice President, Exploration, directing BP's global exploration program. I believe David's experience and judgement will be of great benefit to Tullow in the years ahead and would like to welcome him to the Board.
By any standards, the past year has been a very active one for both Tullow and the sector. I believe the Energy Africa transaction has created a balanced and well-funded company with potential to add significant value for shareholders in the years ahead.
All of the resolutions put to the meeting were passed.
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