Rialto approved to acquire stake in Offshore Ghana oil exploration prospect

Rialto Energy has received Ministerial and Ghana National Petroleum Corporation approval to acquire a 12.5 per cent participating interest in the Offshore Accra Contract Area, in Ghana.

Rialto Energy has received Ministerial and Ghana National Petroleum Corporation approval to acquire a 12.5 per cent participating interest in the Offshore Accra Contract Area, in Ghana.

The block is located to the southeast of Accra, the capital of the Republic of Ghana, in water depths ranging from less than 50 metres to greater than 2,500 metres. Interpretation of new seismic data, in conjunction with previously existing and reprocessed 3D, identified a number of prospects within the pre and post-rift Cretaceous section of the block.

Among the prospects identified is a large, deep-water prospect, which according to the current operator has unrisked prospective resources estimated to be in the range of half a billion barrels.

To complete the acquisition of its interest, Rialto is required to pay its 12.5% proportional share of past costs, which amounts to a net payment of around $3.0m, and provide a bank guarantee in respect of its participating interest share of the approved work program and budget for the current exploration period.

The company is acquiring its interest alongside fellow new entrants Ophir Ghana (Accra) and Vitol Upstream (Accra), joining existing partners Afex Oil (Ghana) and Tap Oil (Ghana), together the "contractor group".

The initial exploration period expires on September 23rd 2013, with the requirement that an exploration well be drilled by this time. Rialto's net share of the 2013 exploration well cost is estimated to be around $10m.

Rialto Energy's Interim Chief Executive Officer, Rob Shepherd, said the company was pleased to obtain approval for its interest in the Accra Block and grow its West African exploration portfolio outside of Cote d'Ivoire.

"This is a high profile exploration area located in the vicinity of some major recent discoveries. With 3D seismic acquired over the area in 2011 and a number of high profile leads identified, we now look forward to working closely with our new joint venture partners to progress the exploration program on this block."

MF

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