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Oil focus shifts to central blocks

Despite the disappointing results of its two exploration wells drilled so far offshore Namibia, oil and gas start up, Chariot Oil & Gas has announced plans to start drilling at its central blocks in 2013.
In a statement to shareholders on Friday during the presentation of Chariot’s unaudited interim results for the period ended 30 June 2012, CEO Paul Welch said the company remains convinced that Namibia is a key region for frontier oil and gas exploration.
Welch said: “Despite the disappointment of the well results…….we remain of the conviction that Namibia is a key region for frontier oil and gas exploration and look forward to pursuing our campaign there over the coming months and years.
Chariot, Welch said, completed a 3500km² 3D seismic survey in the Central Blocks in January, making its accumulated data sets the most comprehensive to have been acquired offshore Namibia to date. It is anticipated that Chariot will have received all of the 3D data volumes from the programme by October, ahead of schedule, which will then be interpreted by an in-house technical team.
The Chariot CEO assured investors that the Central Blocks are positioned within the Lüderitz and Walvis Basins, morphologically different from the areas of the Northern and Southern licences.
“The central licences are currently estimated to contain gross mean prospective resources of 8.3 billion barrels of oil based upon the interpretation of our 2D seismic data set acquired in 2009.”
“The quality of the data, reviewed to date, is excellent and we look forward to being able to provide an update to the prospective resources and mature leads to prospects within the inventory in Q4 of 2012. On completion, the company will be reopening the data room with the aim to farm-down a portion of this licence area to share the costs of the drilling of the next well,” Welch told shareholders.
The six months results show that the Group is debt free and held cash balances of US$112.4 million at 30 June 2012. The Group incurred a loss of US$83.8 million for the six months ended 30 June 2012 which included an impairment charge of US$80.8 million for the Tapir South Well.
Capitalized exploration costs in the period of US$97.8 million were funded from existing cash, from US$48.7 million gross share-placing proceeds received in March 2012, and from the receipt of the BP farm-out cash and working capital movements.

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