Hardman Resources Limited announced that oil production from the Chinguetti field (Hardman 19.008%), offshore Mauritania, commenced during the early hours of the morning on Saturday 25 February 2006. The transition to international oil producer is the culmination of a process that began in September 1996 when Hardman negotiated and signed the first offshore Production Sharing Contract (“PSC”) with the Mauritanian Government.
Hardman later introduced other companies, including Woodside, through farm in agreements signed in August 1998 and those companies funded the initial exploration investment.
Extensive technical work was carried out with the acquisition and interpretation of a very large volume of new 2D and 3D seismic data. This led to the decision to drill the Chinguetti prospect as the first exploration well, and where an oil discovery was subsequently announced in May 2001.
The Chinguetti development project is operated on behalf of the joint venture by Woodside Mauritania Pty. Ltd and is located in water some 800 metres deep. The development involved a gross capital expenditure of about US$720 million and initially comprises twelve wells - six production wells, five wells for water re-injection and one for gas re-injection. Production is via the floating production storage and offloading facility (FPSO), Berge Helene – located 80km south-west of the capital Nouakchott – and is expected to increase steadily over the coming weeks to reach a peak of about 75,000 barrels a day in April, with the sale of Hardman’s first oil cargo currently also forecast for that month.
Aside from Chinguetti, Hardman participates in further discoveries offshore Mauritania at Tiof, Banda, Tevet and Labeidna, operated by Woodside, and Pelican and Faucon operated by Dana. These are currently being evaluated for development and/or appraisal. In addition to Woodside and Dana, Hardman now has as partners such major international companies as, BG, Gaz de
France, Petronas, Wintershall, Premier and Tullow, as well as the Mauritanian State. In aggregate, the joint ventures in which Hardman participates have invested over US$1.4 billion in exploration and development offshore Mauritania.
Participating interests in the Chinguetti Joint Venture are:
Woodside group companies (Operator) 47.38448%
Hardman group company 19.00800%
Société Mauritanienne des Hydrocarbures [formerly GPC] 12.00000%
BG group company 10.23440%
Premier group companies 8.12328%
ROC Oil group companies 3.24984%