, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 6 – In efforts to strengthen its presence in East Africa, oil exploration corporation Afren has appointed Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) chairman Patrick Obath to its global board as a non-executive director.
Obath joins the London-based firm as it prepares to kick off an extensive exploration programme across its East African portfolio in Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Madagascar and the Seychelles.
Director of Afren East Africa Exploration Galib Virani, said Obath’s appointment recognizes the importance of the company’s strategic entry into East Africa that seeks to replicate the successful full cycle exploration and production model developed in west Africa .
“With the company expected to produce up to 46,000 boepd (Barrels of Oil Equivalent Per Day), we have proven our ability to work in partnership with local indigenous companies and host governments to quickly explore, appraise and develop assets to production in market leading timelines,” he said.
With a significant drilling programme across Afren’s assets in East Africa this year, Virani said he believes the region has the potential to transform the company’s reserves base and long term production profile.
Following the acquisition of Black Marlin Energy, an oil exploration firm in October 2010, Afren gained an extensive presence in East Africa and today has a portfolio of 12 high impact exploration assets that are located in some of the region’s most prospective hydrocarbon basins.
The company has up to four exploration wells planned in Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia for 2012, targeting in excess of 360 million barrels of gross un-risked resources.
It is also looking to acquire new seismic data in Madagascar and the Seychelles that will assist with the planning of future exploration wells over the course of next year.
Obath, whose career spans over 36 years in the energy industry, includes 20 years with Shell International, Shell Kenya, Shell Tanzania and Shell Oil Products Africa and current service as chairman of PZ Cussons EA Limited.
“I am honoured to be appointed to the Board of Directors of Afren plc, one of the largest London listed Oil & Gas Independents, and I’m a keen advocate of their partnership focused business model which prioritizes both rapid delivery of reserves and production alongside development of local capacity,” Obath articulated.
In Kenya Afren runs three projects; Block 1 located on the Western margin of the Mandera-Lugh basin in north eastern Kenya bordering both Somalia and Ethiopia.
The second Block 10A is located in the Anza Basin onshore northern Kenya and the third Block L17/L18 located in the Lamu coastal basin, in Southern offshore Kenya.