Essar Oil shelves Mauritania plans

Vol 11, PW 6 (26 Jul 07) News in Brief

Essar Oil has given up plans to invest in upstream blocks in the North African state of Mauritania.

This report learns that initial plans were to invest in onland and offshore blocks but when a two-member Essar team returned from a visit it told management that data available was “insufficientâ€‌ to take even an â€کin-principle’ decision to invest. “There was hardly any seismic and no well data at all,â€‌ we hear.

“Essar decided against that route.â€‌ Essar then began talks to farm-in “not less than 30%â€‌ into an offshore block held by a foreign oil company in Mauritania.

A confidentiality agreement was signed and due diligence was conducted through late July. But nothing came of this either and, “plans to invest in Mauritania have now been shelved.

â€‌ This does not mean the end of Essar’s interest in Africa. “Essar is targeting â€کdifficult’ countries in Africa, because the entry barriers are not too high,â€‌ we are told.

Essar has one block in Nigeria and three in Madagascar.

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