Tullow Awarded License Offshore Gabon

Tullow Oil's subsidiary, Tullow Gabon (Operations) Limited has signed a Production Sharing Contract with the Gabonese Government for the Kiarsseny Marin Area in the highly prospective Northern Gabon offshore basin. Tullow will operate the concession with a 100% interest. This award expands Tullow's exploration portfolio in an area of significant hydrocarbon potential and complements Tullow's existing West African assets in Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon.

The Kiarsseny Marin concession, which lies mainly in shallow water, contains a number of existing small oil discoveries – GLK, Iguega and Equata, - in addition to numerous exploration opportunities. Tullow plans to assess the commerciality of these accumulations, and other prospects on the block, with an exploration and appraisal program.

The Kiarsseny Marin license is a 5,442 sq. km area with water depths ranging from 0 m to 900 m. Over 18,000 km of 2D seismic data, and over 2,300 sq km of 3D seismic data are available for the block. Some 24 wells have been drilled on the license to date, of which many have encountered oil and gas. Tullow expects to move rapidly to evaluate the large body of data that exists for the license, and plans to start the first of two commitment exploration wells within a year of signature. Tullow expects any successful discoveries to be brought into production rapidly.

The Kiarsseny Marin area is located in the Northern sector of the Gabonese offshore, close to the border with Equatorial Guinea. Both shallow post-salt Tertiary and Cretaceous targets and deeper pre-salt plays are present on the acreage. There are three discoveries located in the block; Equata, which was drilled by Texaco in 1974; GLK, which was discovered by Gulf in 1976; and Iguega, which was discovered by Shell in 1997. These discoveries were considered marginal by previous operators under earlier, more stringent Production Sharing Contract terms. Water depth in the majority of the license area is shallow, facilitating cost effective drilling and field development. The Kiarsseny Marin license is within 20km of Elf Gabon's production facilities at Konzi. Shallow offshore fields have been exploited in Gabon since the 1960s.

Commenting, Aidan Heavey, Chief Executive, Tullow, said: "This entry into Gabon is an exciting further step in Tullow's growth in West Africa, one of the world's most vibrant Hydrocarbon Provinces. We are delighted that our discussions with the Gabonese Authorities have proceeded so rapidly and cordially. We look forward to an exciting exploration and appraisal program on this highly prospective license."