Chariot Oil & Gas Limited, the Africa focused oil and gas exploration company, provides an operational update across its portfolio and a revised forward-looking work programme.
Over the last year the Company has drilled two exploration wells and acquired 3,500km2 of 3D seismic data in Namibia; acquired an exploration licence and 3,500km2 of 3D seismic data in Mauritania; and secured three additional exploration licences in Morocco. The net acreage base has almost doubled to approximately 46,000 km2 over this period. Given this activity and growth, the Company has undertaken a review of its portfolio, matured the description of the prospect inventory and re-cast the forward exploration programme.
Mauritania is a proven oil producing region with multiple discoveries made to date, further field developments planned, and several wells scheduled for drilling by other industry players this year. Since acquiring its acreage in June 2012, Chariot has completed a 3500km2 3D seismic survey which targeted deep water canyon head, channel and fan systems that had been identified on the legacy 2D seismic data and which are analogous to nearby discoveries (such as the Banda field with reported resources of c.300mmboe). Processing of the 3D data is currently underway, and the data is expected to be ready for interpretation in November 2013, with a resource update planned for 1Q 2014.
Chariot has already received industry interest in its Mauritanian acreage and a process to identify a partner for drilling will be initiated once interpretation is complete. Should this be successful, it is anticipated that drilling will commence in 2015.
As at 31 December 2012 the Company’s cash balance was US$68.3 million (unaudited) compared to US$112.4 million as at 30 June 2012. This cash utilisation was comprised of US$36.5 million of expenditure incurred on Namibian drilling and seismic activities, US$2.4 million on Mauritanian and Moroccan G&G and G&A and US$5.2 million on other G&G and G&A costs. In 2013 the Company expects to pay c.US$25 million for the acquisition, processing and interpretation of the 3500km2 3D seismic survey carried out in Mauritania, with plans for a further US$15 million planned for other G&G and G&A costs. All contractual licence commitments are fully funded through to the end of 2014.
Chariot has a track record of securing industry finance and will continue to seek partners for its assets in order to distribute risk and provide additional funding for the further exploration and development of its portfolio.
Larry Bottomley, CEO, commented:
“Chariot’s goal is to create transformational stakeholder value through the discovery of material accumulations of hydrocarbons. The Company’s strategy to achieve this goal remains the same: Chariot will continue to explore in new or emerging hydrocarbon provinces, take large equity positions in the early phases of exploration and manage risk through levered partnering, portfolio diversity and the application of technology. The Company is committed to applying capital discipline throughout all of its projects.
In acquiring our licences in Mauritania and Morocco last year, we demonstrated our ability to secure early access to further quality acreage in areas that are receiving increasing interest from the oil and gas industry. We will continue to pursue New Venture activities as this is an important ongoing value creation catalyst for our business.
Whilst this operational review has led to a revised timetable on our prospective drilling, this approach will help to further de-risk the drilling targets we ultimately select. We believe all our assets have the potential for giant discoveries, we have a focused strategy and we are committed to realising the value in the portfolio.”
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