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African Petroleum's wholly-owned subsidiary European Hydrocarbons Ltd. (EHL) entered into the first extension period on the SL-03 license, offshore Sierra Leone. The expiry date of the first extension period is 23 April 2017.
The initial exploration period on the SL-03 license expired on 23 April 2015 with EHL fulfilling all obligations, including the acquisition of 2500sq km 3D seismic. In April 2015 EHL gave notice to the Sierra Leone Petroleum Directorate of its intention to enter into the first extension period on the SL-03 license and this has recently been approved. In accordance with the requirements of the petroleum license agreement, EHL has relinquished 50% of the SL-03 license area, reducing the license area from 3860sq km to 1930sq km.
Contemporaneously with the approval of the entry into the first extension period, the Petroleum Directorate agreed to modify the work program, minimum expenditure requirements and social obligations (license amendments) in favor of EHL during the first extension period on the license. The license amendments are subject to ratification by the Parliament of Sierra Leone.
Detailed mapping of 3D seismic has identified a number of prospects. The Altair Channel is the most easterly of these and exhibits a high amplitude seismic expression within a stratigraphic trap. Independently assessed by ERC Equipoise, the estimated net un-risked mean prospective oil resources attributable to the Altair prospect is 434 MMstb. The forward program provides an opportunity to analyze the seismic data fully prior to making a commitment to drill an exploration well.
“The first extension period provides a further 18 months to complete geoscience work over the block ahead of drilling an exploration well,” said Jens Pace, CEO of African Petroleum. “With significant prospectivity identified in the company’s adjacent license SL-4A-10 (the Vega and Leo prospects) which we believe extends into SL-03, the additional time allows us the opportunity for further mapping of the Campanian sand fairway and investigation of promising Direct Hydrocarbon Indicators.”