Aminex Suspends Nyuni-1 Well Pending Further Testing

Aminex reports that drilling operations on the Nyuni-1 well offshore Tanzania have been completed, oil shows established and the well suspended while further study is carried out on the feasibility of a full testing program.

Both the target Lower Cretaceous ('Neocomian') formation and the Upper Jurassic formation have revealed consistent shows of both gas and oil. The MDT tool (Modular Formation Dynamics Tester), employed to provide limited down-hole well test information, has to date produced inconclusive results and been subject to recurring mechanical failures. The MDT program was designed to take pressure data and fluid samples to a depth of 3,886 meters but failure of the tool has meant that no fluid samples have been obtained below 3,406 meters. Given the uncertainty of being able to carry out satisfactory mechanical repairs in the near future, this tool has now been stood down and the well suspended with a wellhead in place, leaving a major portion of the down-hole testing program incomplete.

The establishment of liquid crude oil from an Upper Jurassic source rock in this region is a considerable achievement and a landmark for its oil potential. Coupled with geochemical and other analyses of regional surface oil shows along the coastal margin of southern Tanzania, which precisely match oil shows analyzed from Nyuni-1, the well provides the first indication to date of a new oil province in the region, previously regarded as purely gas-prone.

While the geology of Nyuni-1 has proved complex, this well gives the Company confidence to pursue an expanded exploration program in the area. Aminex will now reassess the East Songo Songo/Nyuni permit area in the light of the valuable information Nyuni-1 has provided in understanding the hydrocarbon prospectivity of this promising frontier exploration area. Application is being made to the Tanzanian authorities for a revised work program over the area. In support of the future drilling program, it is likely that further exploration activity will include the reprocessing of existing seismic and the acquisition of new seismic within the license area.

Commenting on the result of the well, Aminex Chief Executive Brian Hall said:

'Nyuni-1 has been an exciting project, as well as being the first exploration well in this remote area for many years, raising many technical and operational challenges. It is disappointing that we have been unable to obtain definitive results at this stage but the well has confirmed the prospectivity of the region and substantially upgraded the potential of the East Songo Songo/Nyuni permit. We are enthusiastic about the area and looking forward to the next phase in the program.'