Oando, Exile Get Go-Ahead for Akepo Farm-Out Off Nigeria

Oando Exploration and Production Limited (OEPL) announced that it has received approval from the Nigerian Ministry of Petroleum Resources for Exile Resources' farm-out, previously announced on January 5, 2009, whereby OEPL can acquire a 75% working interest in Exile's 40% interest in the Akepo field (OML 90) in return for funding Exile's previous costs, and financing the future development of the project.

In actualization of the project plan, Noble Drilling's rig -- Lloyd Noble -- has been contracted and is due on location in the last week of October, 2009, for the well re-entry, completion and testing program.

Commenting, Wale Tinubu, Group Chief Executive, Oando PLC said, "This development further reinforces Oando's diverse earnings platform and reflects our consistent progressive strides in the upstream oil and gas sector. We estimate this division of the company to be responsible for over 50% of the Group's revenue base in the near future. Our portfolio of near term and producing assets provide us the opportunity to earn directly in dollars, hedging our income, and enabling us return superior value to our shareholders."

Otunba Funso Lawal, Chairman of Sogenal, commented, "This is very good news. The partnership is at an advanced stage of its operation and it’s a vote of confidence that we now have ministerial approval to proceed with our plans to develop the Akepo Field."

Also commenting, Babatunde Ogunnaike, Chief Executive Officer of OEPL said, "With this approval OEPL is now firmly on course to meet its production and development targets, whilst building a wholly indigenous world class Exploration and Production company."

Tony Henshaw, President and CEO of Exile, explained, "This is a very welcome development -- the Ministry's approval is the last major hurdle in finalizing the farm-out agreement. The farm-out terms have worked very well and Oando has fulfilled its obligations to date by paying the 1st tranche reimbursement on Exile's past development expenses on the Akepo Project."