London, UK: Essel Group Middle East ("EGME") is pleased to announce that EGME and Simba Energy Inc. ("Simba"), through its subsidiary company Simba Africa Rift Limited, have awarded a contract for a 2D seismic data survey on Block 2A, in Kenya.
The survey will be conducted by Africa Geophysical Services LLC, ("AGS"), and is intended to provide 2D seismic data acquisition and processing covering an approximately 500 km survey line. It is anticipated that preliminary field work will commence by the end of April 2016, with the full survey starting in early May 2016. The work will take just over two months to complete, and will be followed by full analysis of the data. The survey represents an important preparatory step ahead of a drill program for later in 2016.
Gagan Goel, Managing Director, EGME and Vice-Chairman of Simba, commented, "We look forward to completing the 2D seismic survey, and securing positive seismic results, with a view to starting the drilling process. We believe this next phase of work will reveal excellent upside potential for exploratory drilling across of number of high quality Kenyan prospects."
In December 2015 Simba entered into a definitive farm out agreement with EGME on Block 2A in Kenya. Under the agreement, EGME will earn a 60% participating interest in Block 2A by funding 100% of exploration expenses until the completion of the drilling of two conventional wells on Block 2A. The definitive agreement followed the 27 August 2015 formal approval Simba received from the Government of Kenya of the farm out with EGME.
As part of the definitive farm out agreement, EGME became the largest single shareholder in Simba (TSX Venture: SMB), for the purposes of protecting shareholder interests on planned and future project developments with a total capital budget in the region of US$100 million. In addition, Mr. Gagan Goel, Managing Director of EGME, joined Simba's Board of Directors and serves as Vice-Chairman.
The relationship between both companies was further strengthened on 16 March 2016, when Simba announced that Mr. Punkaj Gupta, Group Chief Executive of EGME, had been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Company.
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At the time of Mr Gupta's appointment, Robert Dinning, President and CEO of Simba, said, "We are delighted that Punkaj Gupta has joined our Board of Directors. He adds an extensive background in international affairs including mining and the steel industry that will be very helpful as Simba develops its assets on the African continent."