M a r k e t N e w s

Oil & Gas Basin Opens in Kenya

Posted on : Friday, 29th August 2014

 Murmurs that Kenya is about to become a major petroleum province have now reached a dull roar.

Africa Oil (AOI-TSX) announced it has made a major gas discovery (six million cubic feet per day) at the Sala-1 well on Block 9 onshore Kenya, significantly de-risking the "string of pearls" play along the margins of the Anza basin.

"We are very excited about the opening of a new basin," stated Africa Oil chief executive Keith Hill. The Kenya rift basin is Africa's hottest onshore exploration zone, containing an estimated 23 billion barrels of un-risked prospective resources. The region is still largely unexplored.

Kenyan rift oil companies Africa Oil (AOI-TSX; AOIFF-US), Taipan Resources (TPN-TSX.V; TAIPF-US) and Simba Energy (SMB-TSX.V; GDA-FRANKFURT; SMBZF-OTCQX) are all attractive options for buy-outs.

The Sala-1 well confirms a commercial working petroleum system in the Anza Basin. Sala-2 was spud last week with more wells planned at Sala. Africa Oil is on the record saying Sala's commercial gas discovery will be commercialized within 24 months.

Simba's FTG has defined two very strong high ranking "String of Pearl" targets/leads within 30 kms to the SE and on trend with Sala. These targets are closer and appear as least as large as the Badada prospect.

When a neighbourhood gentrifies, all property values go up. Kenya is quickly gaining the status of a 'conventional' oil province.

Surrounded by recent discoveries, with a market cap in excess of $13 million, Simba Energy has greater upside potential than other Kenyan Energy Juniors.

There are three wells to be drilled in 2014 on adjacent blocks to Simba's Kenya Block 2A. Block 9: Africa Oil Marathon 50/50 JV, just completed Sala-1 (30kms west of Simba's Block 2A). Q4, 2014: Block 2B: Taipan/Premier Oil/Tower Badada well on Block 2A's south boundary. Q3, 2014: Block 1: Afren/ Taipan Khorof-1 well (just north of Block 2A) in the Mandera basin which extends into Simba's Block 2A.

Early explorers in Kenya have experienced significant stock market gains. Africa Oil's market capitalization increased from $250 million to $2.5 billion after drilling the Ngamia-1 well.

If the Badada or Khorof-1 well hit, Simba's market cap is likely to go up significantly due to its 100% interest in Block 2A, (compared to its neighbours holding smaller stakes).

Consolidation activity in the African petroleum nations is heating up. Glencore Xstrata (GLNCY-LON) recently took over of Chad oil producer Caracal Energy (CRCL-LON) for $1.35 billion, while Al Mirqab Capital took over of Heritage Oil (HOIL-LON) for $1.55 billion.

Exxon Mobile (XOM-NYSE), BG Group (BG-LSE), Marathon (MRO-NYSE) and Apache (APA-NYSE) are also active in East Africa. Further investment and consolidation is expected.

Simba Energy has a strong Pan African portfolio (Kenya, Guinea, Liberia, Ghana, Chad) although the company's current focus is on the Mandera basin in Kenya on Block 2A, where Simba holds a 100% interest.

The Mandera Basin contains confirmed source, reservoir & seal rocks. The nearby Tarbaj oil seep has been sampled and analyzed, demonstrating the existence of source rocks of marine origin located deeper in the basin.

Source : www.marketwatch.com
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