Woodside Petroleum has dropped its option to take operatorship and fund well costs in one of its shared Moroccan assets.
The Australian company’s partner, Chariot Oil & Gas, said Woodside had decided against the move which would have given it an additional 25% stake in return.
It means Chariot will remain the operator with a 50% interest, while Woodside will retain its current 25% stake and ONHYM will have a 25% carried interest.
Larry Bottomley, chief executive of Chariot, said: “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.
“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.”
Chariot said the Rabat Deep asset remained “technically robust” on the 3D seismic and a competent person report is expected to be undertaken following the interpretation of pre-stack migrated data.
Drilling of the prospect is now anticipated to occur in late 2016 and 2017.