Baraka Maintains Confidence in Mauritania
Baraka Petroleum has received a small number of enquiries from shareholders regarding the recent detention of the former Mauritanian Minister for Energy & Petroleum and certain government officers. Woodside Petroleum Limited and Hardman Resources Ltd made reference to this matter in their respective announcements to the ASX on January 18, 2006.
In view of these enquiries and possible media speculation Baraka confirms that all agreements concerning its projects and contracts in Mauritania have been approved by the Mauritanian Government, and where applicable passed into law.
Baraka's Managing Director and CEO, Max de Vietri, this week held meetings in Mauritania with the Minister of Energy & Petroleum, the Minister of Mines & Minerals, the Minister of Finance, the Chief of Cabinet of the Ministry of Economic Affairs & Development and the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Mauritania.
These scheduled meetings were to introduce new European financial institutions interested in supporting investment in Mauritania, including Baraka's petroleum.activities.
During these meetings the various government representatives confirmed that the Mauritanian Government is fully committed to the development of a world-class petroleum industry and a sound, reliable and transparent investment environment. Mr de Vietri and Baraka were also acknowledged for their pioneering efforts in assisting to bring investment to the Mauritanian petroleum industry.
Baraka's wholly owned subsidiaries, Baraka Mauritanian Ventures Ltd (BMV) and Brimax Petroleum International Ltd (BPI), were awarded three Production Sharing Contracts (PSC's) by the Government of Mauritania all of which have been ratified by the Mauritanian Parliament and passed into law.
Two PSC's held by BMV were farmed out to Woodside Mauritania Pty Ltd a subsidiary of Woodside Petroleum Limited and require Woodside to spend US$18 million to acquire a 75% interest. The Mauritanian Government has formally approved the farm-outs, approval of Operator and assignment of interest.
The PSC covering Coastal Block 20, held by BPI, has been farmed-out to a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation International (CNPCI) who are required to spend US$8.6 million to acquire a 65% interest. The new Mauritanian Government Minister gave formal approval for the farm-out, Operator and assignment of interest in August 2005.
Baraka, Woodside and CNPCI, as Operators of the joint ventures in Mauritania are in regular contact with the Department of Energy and Petroleum and other Government agencies in Mauritania. Baraka's rights, obligations and activities are unaffected by the recent reported events.
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