Aminex Prepares to Drill on Nyuni License Offshore Tanzania

Preparations for drilling the first well are under way with bottom hole locations selected for both wells planned on Aminex's offshore Nyuni license. As previously reported, the first well was scheduled to spud this September, however due to operational constraints the well will not spud until the latter part of the fourth quarter. The two wells will test separate structures in the Lower Cretaceous formation, directly adjacent and analogous to the Songo Songo gas field which is under development. The Songas pipeline system, funded by international institutions including the World Bank, is due to deliver first gas from Songo Songo to Dar Es Salaam in 2004 and possibly beyond at a later date. The Nyuni Production Sharing Agreement gives the company right of access to the Songas pipeline should we make a discovery of gas. Although East Africa offshore is considered to be gas prone, recent field work indicates strong evidence for the possibility of oil discoveries as well as gas.

Aminex recently launched a world-wide farm out initiative for the Nyuni license which has attracted strong industry interest and detailed negotiations are currently in progress with several parties. Whatever the results of the farm out initiative, Aminex plans to retain a substantial interest in this large and prospective block. The two structures to be drilled later this year, individually known as Nyuni and Okuza, are among six so far identified on this 2,600 square kilometer license, which stretches from Tanzania's Indian Ocean shoreline eastwards across the continental shelf and into deep water. Seismic has so far only been shot over about one third of the license area. Activity in Tanzania has stepped up considerably since the acquisition of Tanzoil earlier this year. In particular, it has recently been announced that Shell has been awarded four offshore exploration licenses to the north of Nyuni. The company is currently in negotiations with Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation to convert our Technical Evaluation Agreement on the Ruvuma license, close to the border with Mozambique, to a full Production Sharing Agreement.