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As Chariot Oil & Gas looks forward to Morocco well, near-term focus is on new deal making

An exciting new exploration well is planned for early 2018, but, in the meantime Chariot is focusing on efforts to strike new partnerships for other priority projects.
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Chariot ended the half year with US$21.65mln of cash

Chariot Oil & Gas Plc (LON:CHAR) told investors that as it awaits the start of drilling at the Rabat Deep exploration prospect in Morocco, due in early 2018, the near-term focus is on efforts to strike new partnerships for other priority projects.

The explorer, in its first half results statement, highlighted the recent achievements that have seen the Rabat Deep well come onto the horizon.

During the period, the group’s partnership with ENI at Rabat Deep was approved and more recently ENI secured a Saipem ultra-deepwater rig for the programme.

READ: Chariot Oil & Gas counting down for offshore Morocco well

Chariot has also kicked off new partnering initiatives, opening data rooms, and begun preparatory work for future drill programmes – for assets in the Central Blocks offshore Namibia, as well as the Mohammedia and Kenitra assets in Morocco.

It also exited the Southern Blocks offshore Namibia, by electing not to take up the next phase of the licence (although it retains a back-in option for a 10% stake).

Operationally, the company carried out a seismic programme for Mohammedia and Kenitra, acquiring some 1,027 square kilometres of 3D data and 2,254 square kilometres of 2D.

READ: Chariot Oil & Gas has plenty of cash, quality partners and lots and lots of seismic data

Larry Bottomley, Chariot chief executive, said: "As a result of rigorous and continued focus on risk management and capital discipline, Chariot has been able to use a strong cash position and clear strategic objectives to continue to invest in the portfolio despite the prevailing ‘lower for longer’ oil price business environment.

“During the period, we have continued to use our technical capabilities and regional insight to secure follow-on potential with the new venture asset, Kenitra, in Morocco; shoot 2D and 3D seismic campaigns at favourable rates to mature this and the Mohammedia acreage; and, in looking towards realising the potential within the portfolio, initiated the preparation for drilling over priority prospects.”

He added: “We will continue to use our strategic discipline to develop our portfolio for long-term sustainable growth."

Chariot, a pre-revenue explorer, reported a US$52.9mln loss for the period - including a US$51.3mln impairment when it relinquished the Southern Blocks – and the explorer ended the period with US$21.65mln of cash and equivalents.

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