Aussies pull out of Senegal

After reprocessing some 3,000 km of 2D seismic data and carrying out a 1,500 km 2D seismic survey over the past three years, Sydney-based Roc Oil and fellow Australian energy company Woodside Petroleum have decided to pull out of Senegal.

Roc told the Australian Stock Exchange that the two Australian companies decided to let their production sharing contract for the Casamance Blocks 1,2 and 3 (offshore Senegal) lapse in good standing when its current term expires on 31 December.

"Roc has been associated with exploration in Senegal for more than four years and throughout that time it has enjoyed excellent relationships with the relevant government authorities in that country," said Roc chief executive, Dr John Doran.

"Therefore, the decision to allow Roc's Casamance blocks to lapse in good standing was not taken lightly but rather reflects the company's need to concentrate on other areas where it has experienced recent exploration success, Mauritania, Australia and China, and in the UK which continues to be a core area for Roc.

As a result of Roc exiting Senegal, the company anticipates writing off exploration expenditure to the value of approximately $2.5 million at end 2002.