Chariot Oil & Gas Limited (AIM: CHAR) announce that its wholly owned subsidiary, Chariot Oil & Gas Investments (Mauritania) Ltd. has entered into a production sharing contract (the "Contract") with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania ("Mauritania" or the "State") for a 90% interest and operatorship in offshore Block C19, which covers an area of 14,125 km². The Contract remains subject to routine approval by the State before it becomes effective.
The Contract consists of an initial three year period, during which Chariot has agreed to reprocess the existing 2D seismic datasets and then to carry out a 1,600km2 3D seismic survey. Following the results of this work, Chariot may then elect to move forward into subsequent phases of the Contract which would involve the undertaking of exploration drilling activities. Chariot will be partnered with Société Mauritaniennede Hydrocarbures(SMH), the National Oil Company of Mauritania, which will participate with a 10% carried interest. In the event of a commercial discovery, the State will have the option to increase its interest to 15%.
Block C19 is a highly attractive addition to Chariot's existing offshore West Africa portfolio. The block is located 30km off the coast of Mauritania with water depths ranging from 5m to 2,100m. Like Chariot's Namibian portfolio, it is in an area where petroleum systems are proven but exploration is very immature. Also, as in Namibia, Mauritania offers a favourable working environment, fair fiscal terms and a developed, stable resource sector.
Paul Welch, CEO of Chariot, commented:
"We are very pleased to announce the expansion of our portfolio into offshore Mauritania and entrance into an already oil producing province. This has always been part of our longer term strategy through which we aim to mitigate risk and balance our portfolio. The team continues to carefully evaluate African deep water opportunities in order to find additional blocks of interest.
"We believe that our experience, skill-set and capabilities, as demonstrated in Namibia, will enable us to unlock further potential in West African deep water assets and we look forward to doing so alongside the Mauritanian Government in our newly acquired acreage."
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