Sasol Increases Offshore Oil Production in Southern Gabon

Etame Field, Gabon
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Sasol has increased gross oil production at the Etame oil field, offshore southern Gabon in West Africa, from 15,000 to greater than 22,000 barrels of oil per day through the successful completion of an additional production well, and also the discovery of two promising new oil fields nearby.

The Etame oil field was discovered in 1998 and started producing oil in September 2002 at a steady rate of about 15,000 barrels of oil per day. Sasol has a 27.75% shareholding in this field.

The additional production well, Etame 5-H, has a substantial horizontal section and a tested flow rate of about 9 200 barrels of oil per day, pushing overall production at Etame by nearly 50% to in excess of 22 000 barrels a day.

Sasol chief executive, Pieter Cox, says: "The success of the additional well and the discovery of these new oil fields reinforce our belief that offshore southern Gabon has the potential to become a significant future cash generator for Sasol."

The latest oil field was discovered at Avouma, about 20 km south-east of Etame and the discovery well flowed at about 6 600 barrels of oil per day - the highest ever flow rate achieved to date in Gabon from a vertical exploration or appraisal well.

Avouma follows hot on the heels of the unreported January 2004 discovery of the Ebouri oil field, situated about 11 km north-west of Etame.

Dr Phil Vingoe, managing director of Sasol Petroleum International, added "The success of Etame 5-H and the finds at Avouma and Ebouri mark the end of a very successful drilling campaign in southern Gabon".

Engineering studies to continue to optimise production from the Etame field, and appraisal and development of the Ebouri and Avouma discoveries, are now being undertaken by the operator of the block, Houston-based, Vaalco Energy,Inc.

Sasol Limited subsidiary, Sasol Petroleum West Africa Limited, owns a 27.75% interest in the Etame field. Vaalco Gabon Etame Inc. is the operating principal and holds a 28.07% interest. Other field partners are Pan-Ocean Energy Corporation Limited (31. 36%); Sojitz Etame Ltd. (2.98%); Petro Energy Resources Corporation (2.34%); and Energy Africa Gabon S.A. (7.5%).

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