UPDATE 2-New discoveries raise West Africa oil hopes

Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:59pm GMT

* African Petroleum strikes oil off Liberia

* Anadarko finds oil off Sierra Leone

* Further appraisals needed, but hopes high

By Alphonso Toweh and Simon Akam

MONROVIA/FREETOWN, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Energy companies African Petroleum Corp and Anadarko said they struck oil off the coasts of Liberia and Sierra Leone, raising hopes for an energy bonanza in the war-scarred West African states.

African Petroleum said on Tuesday its Narina-1 well struck 105 feet of net oil pay at its offshore Liberia LB-09 block, adding an extensive exploration and appraisal programme was planned to see if the reservoir was commercially viable.

"Narina-1 has identified a potentially large accumulation of light good quality oil at the Turonian level as well as excellent quality oil in the Albian," Chief Executive Karl Thompson said in a statement.

Liberia's top oil official said the discovery was "good news for Liberia" but warned against unrealistic expectations.

"We urge everyone to be very patient," Liberia National Oil company CEO Randolph McClain said on local radio. "It will take time to fully appraise this discovery and years, between five to seven years, before a drop of oil is produced from the well."   Continued...

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