Equator Exploration Increases Stake in Block 2 of Nigeria/Sao Tome JDZ

Equator Exploration has increased its net participating interest in Block 2 of the Nigeria/Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Zone (JDZ) from 6% to 9%.

The move follows the acquisition by Equator and its partner ONGC Videsh Limited of a 7.5% interest held by A. & Hatman Limited (Hatman), a Nigerian E&P company. The assignment of Hatman's interest to Equator has been approved by the Nigeria/Sao Tome and Principe Joint Development Authority ('JDA'); the transfer is subject to final partner and joint development approval.

JDZ Block 2 is adjacent to Nigerian Block OML 130, which hosts the 700-million-barrel and 2.5-TCF of gas Akpo field, another series of discoveries totalling an additional 500 million barrels and several TCF of gas, and several additional developing discoveries with reserves in excess of 500 MMBO and several TCF. Akpo should begin production in 2008, with maximum rates currently forecasted to reach 175,000 BOPD.

The JDZ is located approximately 200 kilometers offshore Nigeria. It was established in 2001 following the ratification of a bilateral treaty between Nigeria and the island nation of Sao Tome and Principe. The JDZ is administered by the JDA.

"We are delighted to have increased our net stake to 9% in the very prospective Block 2 JDZ, located in the highest potential exploration region in the Gulf of Guinea," said Wade Cherwayko, Equator's CEO.

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