Chariot pins hopes on 2012

Marion Dakers
CHARIOT Oil & Gas said yesterday a share placing has left it with $139.6m (£87.6m) of cash reserves going into 2012, which it called a “critical year in the company’s growth and development” as it shrugged off widening half-year losses.

The AIM-listed firm said that a weak pound had led to a foreign exchange loss of $763,000 in the six months to the end of August, contributing to a pre-tax loss of $4.3m for the period.

Chariot’s operational losses rose 70 per cent on the same time last year to $4.1m, which the company said was due to increased exploration costs and administrative expenses.

The company completed two major deals during the half-year, as well as its April share placing to raise $140m.

Its farm-out deals with BP and Petroleum Geo Services focused on its exploration blocks in Namibia.

The company is now preparing for increased exploration activities at its blocks over the next few years. During the first half of the year, Chariot increased its output to 8.9bn barrels of oil.

“With three major partners on board we feel we have strong endorsement of our portfolio and Namibia's potential to become an important hydrocarbon province,” said Chariot chief executive Paul Welch.

Chariot said it was open to more licence deals on its wells and that “our remit remains within Africa”.