Chariot Oil & Gas Limited, an independent Africa focused oil and gas exploration company, announces its unaudited interim results for the period ended 30 June 2012.
Paul Welch, CEO of Chariot, commented:
“The initiation of the Company’s drilling campaign has been a significant achievement for Chariot and the majority of our work prior to 2012 had been leading up to this point. We have positioned ourselves well in anticipation of various outcomes and, as a result of this forward planning, have maintained a strong cash balance. Furthermore we have multiple future targets for drilling in different geographic locations targeting different geological play types, as well as the opportunity to add new assets to our portfolio. Despite the recent well results being disappointing, we are still in control of our next steps and will seek to preserve this position in order to get the best value for shareholders over the longer term. We remain committed to our efforts in Namibia and will update the market with our drilling objectives for 2013 in due course.”
Chief Executive’s Review:
The year to date has been focused on furthering our exploration plans and executing our stated objective of drilling two exploration wells; one in each of our Northern and Southern licence areas in Namibia. Whilst these wells were not discoveries as we would have wished, there are still positives to be taken from our activities – most notably the better understanding of the subsurface we have acquired from the data obtained. When exploring in frontier environments, the information available prior to drilling is limited, and whilst we seek to de-risk our prospects as much as possible, the risk element is still substantial. Now we have significantly more data that can be used to calibrate our large 3D seismic surveys which will materially benefit our future exploration activities.
The six months to 30 June 2012 saw us complete a successful placing that raised proceeds of US$48.7 million (gross). This boosted our working capital position and has given us a significant cash cushion which we will utilise over the coming months to get the best out of our follow up exploration efforts.
In addition to the drilling campaign and placing, the Company also completed, in conjunction with PGS, a 3500km² 3D seismic survey in the Central Blocks in January, making Chariot’s accumulated data sets the most comprehensive to have been acquired offshore Namibia to date. The geological and geophysical team has commenced its interpretation of this data and the results of which will be reported to the market in Q4 of 2012.
Whilst this analysis, alongside that of the well results, will be invaluable to the development of Chariot’s Namibian assets, the Company is also very pleased to have acquired acreage and the corresponding 2D seismic information in Mauritania which will broaden our prospect and lead inventory. Reinterpretation of this existing data is currently underway along with the planning activity for the acquisition of a 3D seismic survey.
Developing the Portfolio
In April 2012, Chariot announced the addition of block C19 offshore Mauritania. The licence is 12,175km2 in size and located 30km off the coast with water depths ranging from 5 metres to 2,100 metres. Like Namibia, Mauritania is a country with a proven petroleum system but remains relatively under explored. Chariot is pleased to have negotiated a sizeable position here as it is a country with a favourable working environment, fair fiscal terms and a developed, stable resource sector.
Existing 2D seismic data sets are currently being reinterpreted with the intention of identifying targets that will be included in a 1,600km2 3D seismic survey. It is anticipated that following this, the technical team will be able to expand the prospect and lead inventory and identify mature targets for drilling. A potential well has been earmarked for late 2013, early 2014 when a drilling rig is expected to be in the country working for another operator.
As part of its forward looking strategy, the Company seeks to further expand its portfolio in order to mitigate risk and balance its portfolio. We continue to carefully evaluate further opportunities that would be of suitable fit and have been making progress on this concurrently to the exploration activity, with two opportunities well advanced.