Rialto Obtains Approval for Accra Oil Exploration

Rialto Energy has obtained approval from the Ministerial and Ghana National Petroleum Corporation to receive a 12.5 percent participating interest in the Offshore area of Accra Contract block.

The block’s location is to the southeast of Accra, the Republic of Ghana’s capital, within water of less than 60 meters to more than 2,500 meters deep. Reading of the new seismic data, together with reprocessed and previously existing 3D data, showed several prospects before and after the block’s Cretaceous rift area.

Among the identified prospects is a big, deep-water prospect that the present operator said has unused potential resources within the half billion-barrel range.

To finalize the interest’s acquisition, Rialto needs to pay its proportional share of 12.5 percent for previous costs of about $3.0 million, and give a guarantee to the bank in respect with respect to its participation investment for the present oil exploration period.

Rialto is obtaining its participating interest together with new entrants Vitol Upstream and Ophir Ghana, joining present partners Tap Oil and Afex Oil with the group of contractors.

The expiration of the first period of exploration is on the 23rd of September 2013, with oil drilling as a requirement before that time. The net share of Rialto’s liability for the oil exploration cost in 2013 is about $10 million.

Rob Shepherd, the company’s Interim CEO, said that the firm was happy to receive approval for the Accra Block and expand its oil investments portfolio in West Africa external to Cote d’Ivoire.

Shepherd said that the Accra block is a high profile area for exploration near several of the most significant recent finds. With the acquisition of 3D seismic data in the area last year and the recognition of several high profile potential leads, Shepherd said that the company is currently looking forward to closely working with its new partnerships to develop the project.