Vanco Inreases Interest Offshore Cote d’Ivoire

Vanco CI-112 Ltd., a subsidiary of Vanco Energy Company, has acquired Xpronet Inc.'s 13.5% interest in Block CI-112 offshore Cote d'Ivoire. The transaction increases the equity interest of Vanco (operator) to 90%, with a 10% interest retained by state-affiliated oil company, PETROCI.

In February, PETROCI approved Vanco's request to relinquish Block CI-109, Vanco's other license offshore Cote d'Ivoire. Vanco opted to release CI-109 after an extensive study of 2D seismic over one year ago.

The purchase of the Xpronet interest and the release of CI-109 consolidates Vanco's interests in Cote d'Ivoire into Block CI-112, a 1.2 million-acre deepwater tract in the country's westernmost offshore sector. The block features a large Albian structure with striking similarities to Ranger's recent discovery on Block CI-40.

Says Vanco's President Gene Van Dyke, "We're very encouraged by the early reports of Ranger's successful well on CI-40. Vanco's CI-112 and Ranger's CI-40 are similar play types, and both lie in more than 1200 meters water depth."

Vanco is taking its first look at its 3D seismic program which was shot on CI-112. WesternGeco completed the 1,200 square-kilometer survey in mid-March, and Vanco has just loaded the first data set. A well could be drilled by year end 2003.

In addition to activity on CI-112, VANCO is looking at other opportunities in the Gulf of Guinea. In February, the company hired former PETROCI Director General Gilbert Yougoubare to strengthen its presence in Cote d'Ivoire and neighboring countries, and to develop interest in any available deepwater acreage in that region.