Vitol Secures Stake in Marine XIV Block Offshore Republic of Congo

The assignment of 21.55% working interest in Marine XIV Block, offshore Republic of Congo to Vitol, via its subsidiary Raffia Oil SARL, was approved by the Congolese Ministry in March 2009.

The block, which is located in the Lower Congo Basin, lies in shallow water adjacent to the Company's other Congo license, Marine XI. Previous exploration activity on the block has resulted in several oil discoveries and preliminary interpretation of 3D seismic data indicates a number of pre and post salt prospects.

The proximity of the license to Marine XI will compliment Vitol's operations on that block and there are synergistic advantages for any potential developments through infrastructure tie-backs. Vitol has common farm-in partners on both blocks and looks forward to continuing to work with SOCO and Lundin, together with the National Oil Company, SNPC, in a successful evaluation and appraisal of both licenses.

Acquisition of a commitment 3D seismic survey, using a multi-azimuth technique to compliment existing data, has just been completed and post-acquisition processing initiated.