Tanzania's First Deepwater Well Successful

Ophir announced that the Pweza-1 exploration well in the Mafia Basin offshore Tanzania has encountered a thick section of gas-bearing sands. The Pweza-1 well was drilled by Odfjell's semisub Deepsea Stavanger. Results from the Pweza-1 well, which has the potential to de-risk other prospects and leads in the basin, are currently being evaluated.

The Pweza-1 well is located in Block 4 which is operated by one of Ophir's wholly owned subsidiaries on behalf of a joint venture which consists of itself (40%) and BG International ("BG") (60%). The well is located approximately 85km from the coastline in a water depth of 1,400 meters. The Ophir/BG group joint venture has interests in Blocks 1, 3 and 4 offshore Tanzania which cover more than 27,000sq km of the Mafia Offshore Basin and northern portion of the Ruvuma Basin, in water depths ranging from approximately 100m to greater than 3,000m.

Pweza-1 is the first of a three-well initial work program planned for Blocks 1, 3 and 4.  The program also includes the acquisition of 4 000 square kilometers of 3D seismic data.  BG Group has the option to assume operatorship of all three Blocks upon completion of the initial work program.

The Ophir/BG joint venture now proposes to drill a further two wells as part of this first ever deepwater drilling campaign in Tanzania.

Ophir's Managing Director, Dr Alan Stein, commented, "The success of the Pweza-1 well is an excellent result for both the joint venture partners and for the Government of Tanzania on whose behalf we are exploring the area. This is the first deepwater well drilled in Tanzania. It has the potential to de-risk additional prospects and leads within the basin, providing a solid platform for further investment. A further two wells will now be drilled before the end of the year and we look forward to acquiring more 3D seismic data early next year. The joint venture has already negotiated a comprehensive series of agreements with the Government which provide a mechanism for the commercialization of offshore gas reserves."

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