Information posted is accurate at the time of posting, but may be superseded by subsequent press releases.
Jan 16, 2012

Africa Oil Corp.: Drilling Commences in Puntland, Somalia

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Jan. 16, 2012) - Africa Oil Corp. ("Africa Oil" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:AOI)(OMX:AOI) is pleased to announce the spudding of the Shabeel-1 well on the Dharoor Block in Puntland, Somalia and, operator, Horn Petroleum Corporation, is currently preparing to drill ahead to a total planned maximum depth of 3800 meters. Drilling operations have also commenced on the Shabeel North-1 well with the setting of the 30 inch surface casing and the drilling of a 50 meter pilot hole. Please see attached photos. Africa Oil holds a 51% equity interest in Horn Petroleum.

To see the photos associated with this press release, click on the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/ao116.pdf

The Sakson 501 rig will be used to drill both wells which are expected to take approximately 90 days each for drilling and evaluation. These two wells satisfy the first exploration period minimum work obligations of the Production Sharing Contracts for both the Dharoor and Nugaal Blocks. They are the first oil exploration wells to be drilled in over 20 years in the country.

The Shabeel and Shabeel North prospects are located on a Jurassic aged rift system which is part of the same system that has proven to be highly productive in the Masila and Shabwa Basins in Yemen that contain an estimated 6 billion barrels of oil*. Both prospects are very large fault block prospects with internal most likely estimates of potential oil volumes of over 300 million barrels of recoverable oil. Source rocks are expected to be rich Jurassic Kimmeridgian shales in the deep portion of the rift immediately down dip from the Shabeel prospects. Reservoirs are expected to be sandstones and carbonates of the Lower Cretaceous and Jurassic systems analogous to Yemen.

Horn President and CEO David Grellman commented, "The commencement of drilling in the Dharoor Valley block is a major milestone in the evaluation of the oil potential of Northern Somalia. We have had very strong support from the Puntland regional government and the local communities who are all keen to see development resume in the region after prolonged periods of internal strife. These wells are the first to be drilled into the deep areas of the rift basins and will be key to unlocking the hydrocarbon potential of this unexplored prospective trend."

* Sourced from country and industry websites - not NI 51-101 compliant.

Africa Oil Corp. is a Canadian oil and gas company with assets in Kenya, Ethiopia and Mali as well as Puntland (Somalia) through its 51% equity interest in Horn Petroleum Corporation. Africa Oil's East African holdings are in within a world-class exploration play fairway with a total gross land package in this prolific region in excess of 300,000 square kilometers. The East African Rift Basin system is one of the last of the great rift basins to be explored. New discoveries have been announced on all sides of Africa Oil's virtually unexplored land position including the major Albert Graben oil discovery in neighbouring Uganda. Similar to the Albert Graben play model, Africa Oil's concessions have older wells, a legacy database, and host numerous oil seeps indicating a proven petroleum system. Good quality existing seismic show robust leads and prospects throughout Africa Oil's project areas. The Company is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange and on First North at NASDAQ OMX-Stockholm under the symbol "AOI".

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD

Keith C. Hill, President and CEO

Africa Oil's Certified Advisor on NASDAQ OMX First North is E. Öhman J:or Fondkommission AB (Pareto Ohman), part of the Pareto Securities Group.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.





FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

Africa Oil Corp.
Sophia Shane
Corporate Development
(604) 689-7842
(604) 689-4250 (FAX)
africaoilcorp@namdo.com
www.africaoilcorp.com