Rift Basin Block operator Africa Oil has announced that the Ethiopian Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas has awarded the Canadian company a one year extension to the block license which will now expire in February 2018.
The extension is intended to allow the operator time to pursue its drilling options after completing 2D seismic acquisition of a 600 kilometer land and lake survey in the third quarter of 2015 which identified source rock outcrops and oil slicks on the lakes in the block where there was previously no existing seismic or wells.
The seismic also identified Ngamia-style structures reachable from shore as well as large structures offshore could provide materiality once basin is ‘proven’.
The explorer is also expected in the meantime to seek for a joint venture partner following the departure of American explorer Marathon Oil which had acquired a 50% interest in the Rift Basin Area in 2014.
This is the second extension after the Government of Ethiopia granted a twelve month extension to the initial exploration period last year, which expired in February 2017.
The Rift Basin Area covers 42,519 square kilometres and is on trend and extending to the northeast of the highly prospective blocks in the Tertiary rift valley including the South Omo Block, and Kenyan Blocks 10BA, 10BB, 13T, and 12A.