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Woodside back out of Rabat licence operatorship offshore Morocco

21st April 2015

Woodside Petroleum has elected not to take operatorship and fund the drilling of an exploration well in return for an additional 25 per cent equity stake in the Rabat Deep Offshore permit in Morocco

Woodside Petroleum has elected not to take operatorship and fund the drilling of an exploration well in return for an additional 25 per cent equity stake in the Rabat Deep Offshore permit in Morocco
A dataroom for Rabat Deep will open in due course and, subject to securing a partner, drilling of this prospect is now anticipated to occur in late 2016/2017.

As a result, Chariot Oil & Gas will remain operator with a 50 per cent equity interest, with Woodside retaining a 25 per cent equity interest and ONHYM a 25 per cent carried interest.

As part of its two-tier partnering process, Chariot is currently at near zero cost in its Moroccan acreage and will seek an additional partner to participate in drilling on the Rabat Deep permits.

As previously announced JP-1 is the focus prospect and contains 618 mmbbls of gross mean prospective resources as estimated by Netherland Sewell and Associates on the 2D seismic data.

This prospect remains technically robust on the 3D seismic and a Competent Person Report will be undertaken following the interpretation of the recently received pre-stack depth migrated data. Whilst market conditions are challenging, the large scale of the prospects in Chariot's portfolio means that drilling success would create transformational value even at current oil prices.

A dataroom for Rabat Deep will open in due course and, subject to securing a partner, drilling of this prospect is now anticipated to occur in late 2016/2017.

"It is disappointing that Woodside has not exercised its option, but we remain optimistic regarding the potential of the Rabat Deep permits and particularly that offered by the JP-1 prospect,” said Larry Bottomley, chief executive of Chariot.

"These are challenging times for oil and gas companies and investment decisions are being affected as a result. As mentioned previously, partnering is tougher, but we also believe that this climate can be an opportunity for those who are looking to take advantage of high potential assets, such as those within our portfolio. Whilst the nature of the market is cyclical, the prospectivity that we see within our licences remains transformational and Chariot's strong cash position will enable us to take advantage of opportunities to further enhance our asset base.

"We look forward to continuing to work with Woodside and ONHYM on the development of the Rabat Deep permits."

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