Losses mount at Chariot Oil

AIM-LISTED exploration group Chariot Oil & Gas more than doubled its losses last year, but said it was confident of becoming the first firm to drill in Namibia later this year.

Chief executive Paul Welch said the company was “in control of its destiny” as it posted a loss of $7.3m (£4.4m) for the year to March, due in part to soaring staffing costs.

Exploration costs sank from $17.6m to $4m during the year, but this is expected to rise as work on Chariot’s 16 prospects in Namibia gets underway.

Chariot shares closed down 0.3 per cent at 225.25p.