White Nile Enters Joint Study Agreement with Ethiopian Government
White Nile Ltd has entered a Joint Study Agreement with the Ethiopian Government's Petroleum Operations Division, over the prospective East African Rift system in the southwest of the country.
The Company's area of interest is in Southern Ethiopia in the area known as the Southern Rift Basins. As part of the exploration program, ground geophysical surveys, including magneto-tellurics and gravity, have now been completed in the Omo River area to the north of Lake Turkana. This data is being used to determine basin disposition and depth in this critical area of interference between three proven petroliferous basin trends known as the Turkana Depression. Early results of the interpretation are encouraging and have revealed deep basins, potentially containing sedimentary section similar to that of the petroliferous Muglad and Melut Basins of Southern Sudan.
The next stage in the development of the Company's Ethiopian project is to finalize the interpretation of the data collected, which will identify the areas that White Nile wishes to translate into a PSA. Following this the Company will design a reconnaissance 2D seismic program to identify drill targets.
Additionally, White Nile would like to update the market on developments in Southern Sudan in relation to Block Ba. Company Chairman Phil Edmonds recently returned from a meeting in Juba, the capital of Southern Sudan, where he met with the Vice President of the Government of Southern Sudan, Dr Riek Machar, and Paul Mayom, the Minister of Interior and Chairman of Nile Petroleum Corp, the Government of Southern Sudan's state owned petroleum company. Both the Vice President and the Chairman of Nilepet were members of the Joint Executive Committee of Northern and Southern Sudanese representatives recently convened to discuss oil and other issues in Sudan as a whole. Both men confirmed the proposed formation of a new oil consortium with regard to Block B in Southern Sudan comprising NilePet, White Nile, Total SA, Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company and Sudan National Petroleum Corporation, the state owned oil company of northern Sudan.
NilePet is White Nile's largest shareholder with 155 million shares and has two representatives on the Company's board. Its chairman has requested that a White Nile board meeting be convened in Juba at the earliest opportunity, followed by a meeting with NilePet to discuss matters relating to further strengthening the relationship between NilePet and White Nile. One item on the agenda will be the fast tracking of the strategy of the two parties to work more closely to create an oil company focussed on Southern Sudan and the immediate region.
White Nile Chairman Phil Edmonds said, "Exploration in Ethiopia is part of White Nile's strategy of building a regional oil company focussed on Southern Sudan and neighbouring countries. These recent results are encouraging and the geological similarities with White Nile's areas of activity in Southern Sudan are increasing our levels of confidence in the prospectivity of our project area in Ethiopia.
"As part of our expansion policy, we are working closely with the GOSS and Nile Pet, to broaden our areas of activity in Southern Sudan and the immediate region. NilePet is White Nile's major shareholder and with the strong working relationship I believe we can fulfil our expansion objectives. With access to the world's capital markets, White Nile can provide the international investment that is crucial in the development of both our Company and NilePet in becoming major entities within our mutual areas of interest and beyond."
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