Mauritania Offshore Drilling Program Outlined

The partners in the PSC Area B joint venture have signed a letter of intent with Smedvig Offshore AS for the drill ship West Navigator to drill up to four wells offshore Mauritania during 2003. The drill ship is currently completing work in the North Sea and the drilling contract is being finalized, after which the rig will mobilize to Mauritania, where it is expected to arrive the third week of August 2003.

Following meetings between the PSC Area B partners earlier this month, the joint venture has agreed to drill two firm wells in the 2003 drilling campaign. A third well will be proposed in PSC Area B on the basis of a number of prospects currently under consideration. In addition, a fourth well is to be drilled in the Dana Petroleum operated PSC Block 7. Details of the planned wells are:

  • Early Development – Appraisal well on Chinguetti: It is intended to complete this well suitably for long term production with measures in place to control sand inflow. An extended production test (1-2 week production period) is also planned. The well would thereafter be suspended pending commissioning of the production facilities of the field in late 2005. The information gained from this early development well is expected to provide confirmation of the development scheme and has the potential to provide significant cost savings in the drilling and completion of further development wells.

  • Tiof Prospect (PSC Area B): Targeting Miocene channel sandstones within structural closure, adjacent to a salt dome, approximately 25 kilometers north of the Chinguetti Field. The prospect is in 1,130 meters water depth and has estimated potential of 153 million barrels (Mean Recoverable Volume).

  • Second exploration well in PSC Area B: A number of prospects are under consideration including: Tevèt, a Miocene channel sandstone prospect situated between the Chinguetti and Banda Fields, and Poune, an Upper Cretaceous prospect. A decision on whether to drill and the preferred prospect will be made on completion of further studies and after drilling the Chinguetti well.

  • PSC Block 7 well: A large structural closure with multiple reservoir targets in water depth of approximately 1,700 meters. The Block 7 joint venture has agreed to drill this well at the end of the Woodside drilling program. Hardman Resources Ltd holds 21.6% and 18.0% equity in PSC Area B and PSC Block 7 respectively.