Tangiers Shifts Upstream Focus Away from Australia to Africa
Tangiers Petroleum Limited (Tangiers), a junior exploration company, disclosed Monday that the government have formally indicated that no further extensions of time will be granted for its two remaining Australian exploration permits.
Consequently, it is anticipated that exploration permits, WA-442-P and NT/P81 in the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf, northern Australia, will be cancelled by the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator (NOPTA) in the near future. This follows Tangier's decision late last year to withdraw from permit NT/P83 which led to the cancellation of that permit in early December. The likely cancellation of all its Australian permits will allow Tangiers to focus solely on its core growth strategy of exploration and project development in Africa.
Since initiating its most recent round of farm-in discussions regarding the Australian permits, Tangiers has succeeded in securing official approval from the Ministries of Energy and Finance in Morocco for the assignment of a 50 percent interest in the Tarfaya Offshore Block from Tangiers to Galp Energia (Galp). Tangiers will maintain a 25 percent interest in the Tarfaya Offshore Block.
The signed Joint Order from the Ministries means Galp has now assumed operatorship of the Tarfaya Offshore Block, which comprises eight exploration permits. Pursuant to the farm-out agreement, Galp is obliged to expend $40.5 million, which will include up to $7.5 million in back costs reimbursable to Tangiers and the cost of an exploration well (TAO-1), limited by a cap, to be drilled within the Tarfaya Offshore Block.
The documentation for this assignment is currently being finalized and the reimbursement of the back costs is expected to be paid shortly. On Dec. 5, 2013, Tangiers agreed a recommended takeover bid for fellow African petroleum explorer, Jacka Resources Ltd.
The Jacka takeover is aimed at making Tangiers an African focused petroleum company with significant scale to pursue what will be a portfolio of outstanding projects. Over the next year, this is expected to include drilling of a high impact exploration well in Morocco; an appraisal well in Tunisia; and the initial development operations in Nigeria, as well as further exploration in Somaliland and Tanzania.
Tangiers expects to lodge its Bidder's Statement with ASIC (and on the ASX market announcements platform) by Jan. 20.
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