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Afren Provides Nigeria Drilling Update

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 1/23/2006, Location: Africa

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Afren plc announced that Chevron, the Operator of Block 1 of the Nigeria - S?o Tomé and Pr?ncipe Joint Development Zone ("JDZ"), has confirmed that it has commenced drilling of the first exploration well on this licence on 14th January 2006. The Obo-1 well is located in approximately 1,750m of water (5,750 ft) and should be completed in approximately 60 days, assuming no technical challenges are encountered during the drilling operation. The well is being drilled by the Deepwater Discovery Drillship, which is contracted to Chevron by Transocean.

The JDZ Block-1 is located approximately 190 miles (300 km) north of the city of S?o Tomé and approximately 125 miles (200 km) south of the city of Port Harcourt in Nigeria. Chevron JDZ Limited has a 51% equity share in the block, ExxonMobil holds 40% equity, and Dangote Energy Equity Resources Limited holds the remaining 9% equity. Afren plc is the beneficial owner of 49% of the equity in Dangote Energy Equity Resources Limited, through its wholly owned subsidiary Energy Equity Resources A.S.

Brian O'Cathain, Chief Executive, commented: "I am pleased that drilling is underway on the highly prospective JDZ Block 1. This well will test a sizeable prospect and if successful would also increase the probability of success for other prospects on the Block."

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