Afren finds oil in offshore Nigeria well discovery

BRITISH energy explorer Afren found oil at one of its wells off the coast of Nigeria, and said it planned to drill another well in offshore Ghana later this month.

Afren, whose main producing fields are in Nigeria but owns assets across Africa, said it found 549 feet of net oil pay – the zone of a reservoir that contains economically producible oil – and 41 feet of net gas pay at the Okoro East exploration well.

The FTSE 250-listed company said the well reached a total measured depth of 8,751 feet.

Afren, which shares the well with Amni International Petroleum Development, said logging operations had been completed at the site and the well was being prepared for another round of testing.

Last month, First Hydrocarbon Nigeria, which is part-owned by Afren, said it had bought a 45 per cent stake in Nigerian oil block OML 26 for $147.5m from Shell, Total and Eni.

Afren’s shares have gained more than a quarter of their value over the past three months and surged by 13.5 per cent to 130.5p after yesterday’s announcement.

“The proximity of Okoro East to the existing producing Okoro field means that we are well positioned to efficiently monetise this discovery, both in terms of our detailed understanding of the subsurface and proximity to existing infrastructure,” said Afren chief executive Osman Shahenshah.

“The well also opens up additional prospectivity on the block and is a very successful start to our 2012 exploration campaign.”