--Completion of negotiations with the Mauritanian Government and ratification of a PSC for Block 20 --Selection of CNPCI as a farm-in partner to Block 20; completed negotiations for US$8.6m in carried expenditure and the terms of a Joint Operating Agreement --Negotiated and executed a Joint Operating Agreement with Woodside Petroleum Ltd following formal Mauritanian Government approvals to Baraka's farm-out of 75% interest for an expenditure commitment of US$18 million on Blocks Ta 11 and Ta 12 --Completed phase one of an evaluation of Mauritanian Blocks Ta11 and Ta 12 and entered phase two involving a US$3.8 million fully carried work program by Woodside --Completion of a Seismic program on Block 20 and selection of a drilling site --Selection of a drilling rig for Heron-1 the first well to be drilled on Block 20 expected to spud in late September 2006 --Undertaken a $5 million Airborne Survey over 193,200 square kilometers in Mali --Entered into advanced negotiations for farm-out of Mali tenements to major petroleum groups --Initiated independent studies of all tenements to confirm prospectivity --Established offices in Mauritania and Mali --Ongoing review and evaluation of new opportunities.
The Company has reviewed its growth strategy, in line with its achievements to date, and embarked on a new venture acquisition plan that aims to balance out the risk profile of its managed asset portfolio.
Max de Vietri, Baraka's Managing Director and CEO has announced three new appointments aimed at strengthening the Company's financial and technical capabilities to achieve growth targets through acquisition of new projects over the next three years.
Brian McGillivray has been appointed a Director following the recent retirement of the former Chairman. Brian is Baraka's Company Secretary and was instrumental in structuring the Company for its IPO and listing in May 2005. He is a Fellow CPA having 30 years experience in public practice with particular emphasis on the financing, evaluation and management of projects in the petroleum industry. As a director and principal of a specialist EPCM contractor he has worked on oil and gas projects in Australia and internationally.
Mark Fenton has joined Baraka as Business Development Manager and has prime responsibility for seeking out and evaluating new project and investment opportunities. Mark completed his PhD in geology at the University of Melbourne and embarked on a career in the oil and gas industry having worked for Shell in Australia, The Hague, Myanmar, Vietnam and Oman. His experience covers onshore and offshore exploration, development and production. As Business Manager at Woodside he worked on the Enfield project with responsibility for all development and environmental matters.
Peter Baird, Baraka's Financial Controller has been appointed Chief Financial Officer. Peter has over 20 years experience in managing the financial and administrative functions of public companies engaged in upstream oil & gas operations. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and has been a Director and Secretary of several listed public companies.
The present operations team headed by Satyavan Reymond, Baraka's Chief Operations Officer, will be complimented by the new appointments and roles. Satyavan holds a PhD from the University of Lausanne and has worked extensively with Schlumberger overseas and in Australia. Satyavan is responsible for Baraka's Mali and Mauritanian operations and has led the aggressive programs to value add to the properties attracting world class joint venture partners. Chairman, Shane Doherty, observed "Baraka has substantially achieved its two year objectives as set out in the 2005 Prospectus in little more than one year since listing and is positioned to implement its strategy to build on the existing assets to add shareholder value."
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