Mauritanian Government Disputing Amendments to Woodside PSCs

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. has been advised by the Mauritanian Government that it disputes amendments to four offshore production sharing contracts operated by the company's wholly-owned subsidiary, Woodside Mauritania Pty Ltd.

The amendments, which are supplementary to the production sharing contracts, were negotiated with the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum and approved by the Mauritanian Government and the Mauritanian Parliament before becoming law in 2005. Woodside is confident that the amendments are proper, valid and binding on all parties.

Woodside Mauritania Pty Ltd is in discussions with the Mauritanian Government to explore ways of resolving the dispute.

Woodside welcomes the Government's willingness to address the matter under the dispute resolution procedures of the production sharing contracts. If the dispute cannot be resolved through discussion, the parties are likely to begin arbitration under the contract terms.

The dispute does not affect the Chinguetti project which remains on schedule to produce first oil this month.

Woodside operates the Chinguetti Joint Venture and the four offshore production sharing contracts on behalf of several joint venturers, including Hardman, BG, Premier, ROC Oil, Fusion, Petronas, Dana Petroleum, Energy Africa and the Government-owned Societe Mauritanienne des Hydrocarbures.