Hardman Resources Upgrades Chinguetti Reserves

Hardman Resources advises that following detailed technical evaluation of 3D seismic and well data from the two highly successful Chinguetti appraisal wells drilled in 2002, it has upgraded its recoverable oil reserve estimate for the Chinguetti Field.

Hardman's recoverable oil estimates for the Chinguetti Field are:

P(90) estimate 95 million barrels
P(50) estimate 125 million barrels
P(10) estimate 200 million barrels
Statistical Mean estimate of 142 million barrels (recoverable)

Hardman's technical evaluation is based on a 3D geological model constructed using "Petrel" software (now being used by Woodside and Shell). The Hardman reserve estimate differs from a report released by Woodside earlier this month which listed Chinguetti and Banda reserves as a Scope for Recovery of 100 million barrels and 56 million barrels respectively.

However, this is a considerable upgrade from Woodside's previous estimate for Chinguetti of 65 million barrels in late 2001.

In November 2002, Hardman appointed the ANZ Investment Bank, based in London, as the Lead Financier to put together the loan facility required for Hardman's 21.6% of the Chinguetti Field development capital. Phase One of their work is nearing completion and indicates that the planned field development is financially robust based on economic modelling of the P(90) reserve estimate. Hardman now intends to engage a US consultancy firm to undertake reserve certification at Chinguetti to provide further confidence to the investment banks.

A development team has been working on the Chinguetti project for the past six months and is aiming to complete a field development plan by April/May 2003. The Joint Venture will then review and approve this plan to reach a commerciality decision by mid 2003. The next step would be the issue of tender documents by September 2003 for the production facilities and other capital equipment. Work could be expected to start during early 2004 with completion and first production planned for 2005 or early 2006.

Hardman's Managing Director, Ted Ellyard, commented: "Hardman's reserve estimate work, which will now be checked by independent experts, has provided considerable confidence that the Chinguetti Field is sufficiently large to support a "stand alone" commercial development. In particular, the P(90) estimate of 95 million barrels which approximates a proven oil reserve estimate is a good result from the appraisal drilling program in 2002. The mean estimate of 142 million barrels recoverable is a considerable upgrade from Hardman's previous estimate.

We now look forward to completing all of the technical and financial studies required for final approval of the Chinguetti project and to start work on the development phase. We also hope that a similar upgrade of reserves at the Banda discovery, from the current 56 million barrels recoverable oil, will be possible following the drilling of appraisal wells."