Africa Oil Corp. reports that the mobilization of a seismic crew to the Dharoor Valley block in northern Puntland is proceeding smoothly. Recording is still planned to start before the middle of May. Approximately 2600 km of high quality 2D vibroseis data will be acquired as part of the comprehensive exploration program planned for the Dharoor Valley.
Preparations for drilling in the Nogal Valley block have also been proceeding well. Although plans to spud the first well in July were well advanced, it has been decided to delay the start of the drilling program. The recent upsurge in civil unrest in southern Somalia and piracy around Somalia's coast have given rise to significant logistical difficulties in shipping large amounts of heavy equipment and supplies to the drilling location. After close consultation with the Puntland Government, it has been decided that the prudent course of action is to delay the drilling program temporarily while local issues are resolved by relevant authorities.
In a related matter, Africa Oil is pleased to announce that the President of the Transitional Federal Government, H.E. Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, has been fully briefed on the company's activities. His Excellency has subsequently issued a broad endorsement of those activities and acknowledged the legitimacy of its concession agreements, promising full support for our work program.
Having met all other obligations, the Company had initiated an accelerated drilling schedule at the Nogal Valley block well in advance of the January, 2010 expiry of the first exploration period. The aggressive timing of the program was to the benefit of the local communities in Puntland and Somalia. However, under current conditions, it is prudent to relax this operational schedule. The Company has a strong relationship with the Puntland government and will cooperate fully with them as they work to resolve the situation. The company will continue to monitor events and reinstate the drilling program as soon as practicable.
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