March 26, 2012 / 2:58 PM / 6 years ago

UPDATE 1-Africa Oil finds oil in Kenya, shares jump

March 26 (Reuters) - Canada’s Africa Oil Corp said it found oil at one of its wells at Block 10BB in Kenya, the first such discovery in the African country.

Shares of Africa Oil — which also has assets in Ethiopia, Mali and Puntland in Somalia — rose as much as 58 percent to a nearly three-and-half year high of C$3.71 on the Toronto Venture Exchange. The stock was one of the top percentage gainers on the exchange.

On Monday, Kenya announced its first oil discovery in the country’s northern part, where British Tullow Oil Plc has been conducting exploratory drilling.

Kenya and its neighbors in east Africa have become an international hot spot for oil and gas exploration after commercial oil deposits were found in Uganda and natural gas in Tanzania and Mozambique.

Tullow Oil operates the Block 10BB with a 50 percent working interest and Africa Oil holds the remaining stake. Tullow Oil shares were up 2.5 percent on the news.

The Ngamia-1 well will now be drilled to a depth of about 2,700 metres to explore further potential, Africa Oil said in a statement.

The Lokichar Basin, where the Ngamia discovery has been made, is one of seven basins mapped in Africa Oil’s acreage.

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