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Another Press Article

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    from finacial times in uk,

    Woodside boosted by success in Mauritania
    By Toby Shelley
    Published: September 23 2002 16:06 | Last Updated: September 23 2002 16:06

    Woodside Petroleum of Australia on Monday reported a third
    successful oil well offshore Mauritania.
    The new find on the Banda prospect follows success at the nearby
    Chinguetti 4-2 well earlier this month, which was drilled in a move to
    assess the commerciality of the Chinguetti 1 find of last year.

    For Woodside, success in Mauritania would help it in the quest to
    dilute its dependence on Aus tralian assets.

    North-west Africa is attracting increasing interest among oil explorers. Two weeks ago, South
    Africa's Energy Africa increased its interests offshore Mauritania through a deal with Dana
    Petroleum of the UK, and Australia's Fusion Oil & Gas. The group announced a placing to raise
    £2m ($3m) to help fund further work in Mauritania.

    To the north, Morocco stirred controversy at the UN last year when it granted reconnaisance
    licences to TotalFinaElf and Kerr-McGee in the disputed waters of the Western Sahara.

    Alan Stein, managing director of Fusion, which has small stakes in the Chinguetti and Banda
    prospects, said current estimates were that Chinguetti has recoverable reserves of 110m to
    150m barrels of oil while Banda could hold about 100m barrels. The commercial breakeven point
    for Chinguetti was 70m to 90m while a satellite development like Banda only needed 40m barrels.

    Mr Stein said development studies are underway and production could start by 2005.

    Tony Alves, oil analyst at Investec in London, said there are a number of other oil prospects
    close to Banda. It raises the possibility that Mauritania could be developed in a similar way to
    Equatorial Guinea with a complex of interlinked developments, with total recoverable reserves of
    500m to 1bn barrels.

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