Sinopec Gets JDA Nod for Extension of Exploration Phase in Nigeria

ERHC announced that the Nigeria-São Tomé & Príncipe Joint Development Authority (JDA) has approved a 12-month extension to Exploration Phase I Joint Development Zone (JDZ) Block 2. ERHC holds a 22 percent working interest in JDZ Block 2 which is operated by ERHC's technical partner, Sinopec Corp.

The JDA approval of extension is subject to final approval by the Nigeria-São Tomé & Príncipe Joint Ministerial Council.

ERHC's partner, Sinopec Corp., completed drilling of the Bomu-1 exploration well in Block 2 in October 2009. The well was drilled to a total depth of 3,580 meters, targeting 13 individual sands. Eight sands were found to contain biogenic methane gas. During the Exploration Phase I extension, the contracting parties led by the operator are expected to conduct further geological and geophysical studies on the Block. Further, they will assess exploration strategy and overall course of action regarding Exploration Phase II.

Negotiations on the exploration program in JDZ Blocks 3 and 4 continue between the JDA and the contracting parties, led by Addax Petroleum. ERHC holds 10 percent working interest in JDZ Block 3 and 19.5 percent working interest in JDZ Block 4.

In addition to its working interests in JDZ Blocks 2, 3 and 4, ERHC holds working interests in Blocks 5, 6 and 9 of the JDZ. ERHC also holds 100 percent working interests in Blocks 4 and 11 of the Sao Tome and Principe Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) with an option to acquire up to 15 percent working interests in two more Blocks in the EEZ.