Australia-based oil and gas exploration company African Petroleum has begun the two well program in Block LB-09 offshore Liberia.

The company has started drilling the first well Bee Eater-1, located 9.5km northwest of the 2012 Narina discovery, which has high quality oil in Turonian reservoirs.

African Petroleum is drilling the offshore well to test a potentially westerly extension of the Narina-1 Turonian oil discovery in an axial position of the fan system for improved reservoir quality.

The mean recoverable un-risked prospective resources for the Bee Eater/Narina fan system spread over an area of 300km² are estimated to be 840 million stock tank barrels (MMstb).

The additional prospects identified on Blocks LB-08 & LB-09 are estimated as 2396MMstb.

Depending upon the outcome of the Bee Eater well, other wells will be drilled on Blocks LB-08 & LB-09. After the completion of the first well, the second well will be spud with the same semi-submersible rig, Eirik Raude.

African Petroleum CEO Karl Thompson said the company made a successful Narina-1 discovery in 2012 and the addition of five exploration blocks in Senegal, Sierra Leone and Cote d’Ivoire.

"We are looking forward to a very active exploration program in 2013 starting with the drilling of the high potential Bee Eater prospect in Liberia LB-09 and follow on drilling in Liberia plus Cote d’Ivoire and The Gambia/Senegal coast," Thompson added.