Africa-focused independent Chariot Oil & Gas reported Tuesday that it has signed a contract with AP Moller Maersk for a one-well drilling slot using the Maersk Deliverer (UDW semisub) rig offshore Namibia. The firm expects to spud its first exploration well in the country in early April, after the anticipated arrival of the rig on location at the end of March.
The Tapir South prospect, which Chariot is targeting, is part of the Tapir trend and is located in Chariot's Northern Block 1811A, which is 100-percent owned by the firm. The prospect, said Chariot, has a 25-percent change of success and gross un-risked mean prospective resources estimated at 604 million barrels.
The well will be located 50 miles (80 kilometers) offshore Namibia in 6915 feet (2,108 meters) of water, with a drilling depth of approximately 16,730 feet (5,100 meters) total vertical depth subsea. It is expected to take around two months to drill and is the first well in Chariot's four-to-five well exploration program that is planned to take place in 2012 and 2013.
"We are extremely pleased to have concluded this drilling rig contract with Maersk and to provide an anticipated spud date for our first exploration well offshore Namibia. Despite the tight rig market we have secured an excellent drilling rig for the Tapir South prospect with a highly reputable contractor," said Chariot CEO Paul Welch. "This will be only the second well ever to have been drilled in the Namibe Basin and we look forward to commencing our operations and updating the market with our progress in due course."
London-based investment bank Peel Hunt is upbeat about Chariot's prospects in Namibia. "'Transformational potential' is an often overused phrase, however we argue the arrival of the ultra deepwater semi-sub the Maersk Deliverer by the end of March will signal the beginning of what may genuinely be described as a transformational period for Chariot," said Werner Riding, an oil analyst at Peel Hunt.
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