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BOWLEVEN | Bowleven Plc The Start Of Drilling On Sapele 1 Exploration Well | RNS

RNS Regulatory News
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RNS Number : 6822S
BowLeven Plc
15 September 2010


15 September 2010

Bowleven plc ('Bowleven' or 'the Company')


Drilling operations commence on Sapele-1 exploration well (Etinde Permit,
Cameroon)

Bowleven, the West Africa focused oil and gas exploration group listed on AIM,
is pleased to announce that on 14 September 2010 it commenced drilling
operations on the Sapele-1 exploration well on block MLHP-5, Etinde Permit,
offshore Cameroon.

The targets of the Sapele-1 exploration well are a series of stacked reservoir
objectives, from the proven Miocene fairway down to the deeper Cretaceous
fairway that is prolific elsewhere West Africa.

The Sapele-1 well is to be drilled to an estimated target depth of circa 4,450
metres and drilling is expected to take approximately 70 to 80 days (excluding
testing).


Kevin Hart, Chief Executive, said:

"This is an exciting time for Bowleven as we embark on exploration activity in
the Douala Basin, offshore Cameroon. The Douala Basin is an emerging
hydrocarbon bearing province and Bowleven's Cameroon acreage is well positioned
to access this opportunity. Sapele-1 will intersect multiple independent
exploration targets in both the Miocene and Cretaceous from a single location,
with significant implications for the wider potential of the acreage and
Bowleven."

Further update announcements on drilling activities will be made as appropriate.
Bowleven is scheduled to announce its preliminary results for the year ended 30
June 2010 on 9 November 2010.




ENQUIRIES

For further information please contact:

Bowleven plc
Kevin Hart, Chief Executive 00 44 131
524 5678
Kerry Crawford, Head of Investor Relations 00 44 131 524 5678

Brunswick Group LLP
Patrick Handley 00 44
207 404 5959
Natalia Erikssen

RBS Hoare Govett
Stephen Bowler 00 44
207 678 8000

Notes to the Editor:

Bowleven is a West Africa focused oil and gas group, based in Edinburgh and
traded on AIM since December 2004.

On 12 August 2009, Bowleven entered into a farm-out agreement with Vitol E&P
Limited (Vitol) in respect of the Etinde Permit (Etinde) Cameroon, comprising
three shallow water blocks in offshore Cameroon, West Africa; namely Blocks
MLHP-5, MLHP-6 and MLHP-7. The transaction comprises (1) the acquisition by
Vitol of an initial 25% interest in Etinde, in return for funding a $100 million
gross work programme; and (2) an option for Vitol to acquire a further 25%
interest, in return for funding an additional $100 million gross work programme
and paying $25 million in cash to the Bowleven group to progress Etinde
activities.

The initial phase of the Vitol transaction has completed and as a consequence,
Bowleven now have a 75% operated equity interest in the Etinde Permit. Bowleven
holds its interest in Etinde through its wholly-owned subsidiary EurOil Limited.
In the event of option exercise by Vitol on or before 30 September 2010, this
will be reduced to a 50% interest, with Vitol expected to take over the
operatorship of the Permit. Under the production sharing contract (PSC), Socit
Nationale des Hydrocarbures (SNH), the National Oil Company of Cameroon, also
has the right to elect to take a 20% participating interest in development
activity on the acreage.

The Etinde Permit comprises approximately 2,316 km of exploration acreage
located across the Rio del Rey and Douala basins in the Etinde Permit. Since
2007, the Bowleven group has drilled five wells on the Permit, all of which have
been successful. Drilling operations are ongoing on a multi well drilling
programme on the Etinde Permit. The IE-3 appraisal well, the first well in the
campaign, was drilled to a final depth of 3,048 metres and a testing programme
of five DSTs (drill stem tests) was successfully completed. Drilling operations
have now commenced on the high impact exploration well, Sapele-1, on block
MLHP-5, Etinde Permit, Cameroon. The Sapele-1 well is to be drilled to an
estimated target depth of approximately 4,450 metres (14,600 feet) and drilling
is expected to take approximately 70 to 80 days (excluding testing).

The drilling rig contract signed for the Etinde drilling programme is for the
Noble Tommy Craighead jack-up, owned by Noble International, a subsidiary of
Noble Corporation (NYSE:NE).

EurOil Limited also has a 100% equity interest in the Bomono Permit, onshore
Cameroon, extending to approximately 2,328 km in the Douala/Kribi Campo basin.

Bowleven holds, through its wholly-owned subsidiary FirstAfrica Oil Limited, a
100% equity interest in the EOV Permit offshore Gabon, which contains an
existing oil discovery that is awaiting development. A sale and purchase
agreement has been initialled for the disposal of the Group's entire interest in
EOV. Government acknowledgement of the transaction has been requested (although
not a legal requirement). Bowleven also has a 50% non-operated equity interest
in the Epaemeno Permit, which is approximately 1,340 km of exploration acreage
onshore Gabon. Addax is operator of the Epaemeno Permit.


GLOSSARY OF TERMS:
The following are the main terms and abbreviations used in this announcement:

+--------------+------------------------------------------------+
| AIM | Alternative Investment Market |
+--------------+------------------------------------------------+
| Bowleven | Bowleven plc and/or its subsidiaries as |
| | appropriate |
+--------------+------------------------------------------------+
| Etinde | the production sharing contract between the |
| Permit | Republic of Cameroon and EurOil (an indirectly |
| | wholly-owned subsidiary of the company) dated |
| | 22 December 2008 in respect of the area of |
| | approximately 2,316 km, comprising Block |
| | MLHP-5, Block MLHP-6 and Block MLHP-7, |
| | offshore Cameroon or, as the context may |
| | require, the contract area to which this |
| | production sharing contract relates |
+--------------+------------------------------------------------+


This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
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