Anadarko Plans Additional Wells in Deepwater West Africa

HOUSTON (Dow Jones), Feb. 10, 2010

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. said Wednesday it's planning to drill "a couple" of new wells the second half of this year in the Sierra Leone-Liberian Basin, in the deep waters of West Africa where the company has recently made large discoveries and could have the potential for further huge findings.

"We will be back drilling there probably toward the middle or the end of this year," said Frank Patterson, Anadarko's vice president for international exploration in an interview. "It will be probably be a couple of wells."

Anadarko and its partner announced last year an oil discovery at the Venus exploration well offshore of Sierra Leone. The Venus B-1 well was the first deep water test in the Sierra Leone-Liberian Basin, an area of coastal waters stretching some 700 miles to the west, beyond Ghana to Ivory Coast, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

With the large Jubilee field already discovered in Ghana at the eastern limit of the system in 2007 and the success at the Venus well at the western limit in Sierra Leone last year, Anadarko said the company established the existence of an active petroleum system in the basin. Some analysts warned about the high risk a "wildcat" well like Venus carried, and said more drilling was need to know how much oil the Sierra Leone field contains.

The new wells will help Anadarko to understand and define better the potential there, Patterson said.

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