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Tullow discovers more oil in Uganda

Tullow Oil has reported a further oil discovery in Uganda, a day after the explorer suffered a setback in its bid to acquire assets in the east African nation belonging to Heritage Oil.

The Kasamene-2 appraisal well in the Butiaba region of Uganda Block 2 encountered 39 meters of net oil pay and 8 meters of net gas pay in a 132-meter gross interval, Tullow said in a statement today. The reservoir quality is “excellent,” it said.

Tullow’s Chief Executive Officer Aidan Heavey and Chief Operating Officer Paul McDade were due to arrive in Uganda today.

The country’s Energy Ministry backed a rival offer by Eni SpA for assets being sold by Heritage. It was not immediately clear what the next step in the government’s approval process would be.

Ugandan Energy Minister Hillary Onek yesterday supported Eni’s $1.5bn offer for Heritage Oil’s 50pc share in Blocks 1 and 3A in the Lake Albert Rift Basin.

Tullow, which co-owns the blocks, has been seeking to take full ownership of the fields. Tullow plans to produce its first oil in Uganda from the Kasamene field this year.

“Encountering the largest net pay thickness in Butiaba to date is an outstanding result, confirming the lateral quality and extent of the Victoria Nile Delta reservoirs and enabling fast-tracked development of the Kasamene field,” McDade said in today’s statement.

“We continue to work closely with the government of Uganda on plans for development and look forward to achieving early first oil from the basin.”

Tullow rose as much as 2.4pc and traded up 19 pence at 1,297 pence as of 8:25am in London. The stock doubled in value last year.