The well, which was drilled to a total depth of 764mt, did not encounter oil, despite persistent methane gas traces, and tested water from the target reservoir interval using a wireline fluid sampler.

The company said that the electric logging confirmed the absence of oil and gas. Although the well failed to encounter hydrocarbons, valuable and encouraging information was gained, which, together with the information from Iti-1, will allow a much greater understanding of the license.

Tower will consider soon whether it intends to apply to continue into the Third (and final) Exploration Period of two years.

Peter Kingston, chairman of Tower, said: “A second dry hole in EA5 is disappointing. However, this is a very large license and the failure to encounter commercial oil or gas reserves with the first two wells does not necessarily diminish the license’s prospectivity.

“As soon as the analysis of the information we have gained has been completed, and a decision has been made regarding the third exploration period, we will provide a fuller statement on the Avivi-1 well results.”