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Sao Tome Founds Commercially Viable Oil in JDZ 1

Source: Reuters 11/30/2011, Location: Africa

Sao Tome and Principe authorities said commercially viable oil had been found in a block jointly explored with neighbouring Nigeria.

Olegario Tiny, Sao Tome's representative in the joint exploration project with Nigeria, told Reuters ahead of a meeting between the two parties that Total, which runs Block 01 in the joint area, may in three years, "start the effective production process."

"Everything points to the existence of commercially viable oil," Tiny said, adding they are meeting Nigerian authorities and Total to fix practical aspects of managing the blocks.

The small Atlantic archipelago nation sits in Africa's Gulf of Guinea region, which Washington estimates will supply about a quarter of U.S. oil by 2015. Previous exploration results from a separate joint development zone with Nigeria had disappointed.

The joint exploration area between Sao Tome and Principe and Nigeria was reached following a political agreement between the two countries signed in 2001, awarding 60 percent of revenues to Nigeria and 40 for Sao Tome and Principe.

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