Africa-focused agriculture firm Agriterra’s (LON:AGTA) legacy oil interests in Ethiopia may hold up to 2.7 bln barrels, according to the latest assessment.
Partner Africa Oil said the figure was a best case, gross unrisked estimate derived from an independent review of the South Omo block in Ethiopia.
Agriterra has a 20 per cent stake in South Omo with Africa Oil owning 30 per cent and Tullow Oil (LON:TLW) 50 per cent.
Sabisa-1, the first well planned for the South Omo Block, is now targeted to be drilled by the end of 2012, following Tullow's rig contract negotiations in Ethiopia, which are nearing conclusion, Agriterra added.
South Omo is situated within the Tertiary age East African Rift just north of Lake Turkana, one of the last great rift basins to be explored in East Africa, said the company.
Tullow has already made a discovery on Block 10BB in Kenya, which is located within the same petroleum system as South Omo.
Seismic and gravity data from Africa Oil show robust leads and prospects throughout the South Omo Project area, Agriterra said.
Chief executive Andrew Groves added the results combined with successful drilling in the same petroleum system confirmed the high prospectivity of the concession.
He added he was also “extremely excited about the prospect of the first well being drilled by the end of the year“.
He added that with the agricultural and ranching businesses going from strength to strength there is the potential for a “great value uplift” at Agriterra.