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mauritania jv drilling plans get the go ahead

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    Mauritania JV drilling plans get the go ahead
    5/07/04 By: Rikki Bannan

    Woodside Petroleum Limited (WPL) subsidiary Woodside Energy Limited said today it was about to embark on its 2004 offshore Mauritania drilling campaign in West Africa. Woodside’s chief operating officer, Mr Keith Spence noted that the campaign would involve the drilling of up to 21 exploration, appraisal and development wells across offshore acreage containing the Chinguetti, Tiof and Banda oil and gas discoveries.

    "The exploration wells will target Miocene objectives, similar to those of the successful Chinguetti, Tiof and Banda discoveries and seek to identify other potential production opportunities," he said.

    Woodside stated that the exploration and appraisal program would commence in August 2004 and continue until the commencement of Chinguetti development drilling in the fourth quarter of 2004.

    The company said the program would cover one commitment well, the Dorade prospect in PSC Area C2, up to five exploration wells in PSC Areas A and B and up to four appraisal wells on the Tiof discovery.

    Woodside revealed work was continuing on finalising the prospective drilling list. It said that the exploration wells to be drilled in PSC Areas A and B were expected to include the Tevet, Capitaine and Merou prospects with additional wells yet to be confirmed.

    Energy junior Hardman Resources Limited (HDR) confirmed details of the drilling program in its own statement to the ASX today.

    The company said the campaign would utilize two deepwater drilling rigs, which would operate in water depths ranging from 300 meters to 1,700 meters.

    Hardman managing director Mr Ted Ellyard said the program would be the largest drill program to be conducted in Mauritania.

    "The commitment of two drill ships for a long duration is an indication of the joint venture's view of the potential of the basin," Mr Ellyard said.

    He said the program had the potential to open up new Miocene prospect fairways and confirmed that offshore Mauritania was a significant new petroleum province.

    "The success of our 2003 drilling campaign in delivering oil fields of significant size such as Tiof provides increasing confidence that Mauritanian deep water will become a major oil and gas producing basin," Mr Ellyard commented.

    Woodside holds 53.8% of the project, while Hardman holds 21.6% and Roc Oil Limited (ROC) has 3.7%. Other interests include the UK's BG Group and African oil and gas company Energy Africa.

    At 1326 AEST Woodside shares were 4c higher at $16.40, Hardman was up 4c to $1.99 and Roc Oil was up 1c to $1.54.
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