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Sterling Energy: withdrawal from Block C-3, Mauritania

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Oilfield Technology,

Sterling Energy plc has announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Sterling Energy Mauritania Limited (SEML) has issued a notice of withdrawal to its joint venture partners in relation to Block C-3, offshore Mauritania.

As part of the withdrawal, SEML will assign its entire 40.5% participating interest in the production sharing contract for Block C-3, located offshore in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania to Tullow Mauritania Limited at no cost to Tullow.

The minimum work obligations for Block C-3 have been completed. Because of this, SEML will have no additional costs associated with the withdrawal. Completion of the withdrawal remains subject to the approval by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.

Upon completion of the assignment the holders of the PSC will be: Tullow (Operator) 90% Société Mauritanienne des Hydrocarbures et de Patrimoine Minier 10%.

Block C-3

The PSC, which was awarded in 2013, covers Block C-3, offshore Mauritania, comprising an area of approximately 9800 km2.

In 2014 the operator acquired 1600 km of 2D seismic. Subsequent to the receipt of the processed regional 2D seismic (comprising ca. 1854 line kms), the company is of the view that the 2D seismic data has not sufficiently de-risked the block potential, to justify SEML entering into Phase 2 of the PSC in June 2016. Phase 2 includes a minimum work obligation of 700 km2 of 3D seismic and the drilling of 1 well.

Block C-3 provided SEML entry into an underexplored area of the Mauritanian shelfal region with a newly acquired regional infill 2D seismic grid. Additionally, Block C-3 provided protection acreage adjacent to SEML’s other exploration interest in Block C-10, offshore Mauritania. The withdrawal from Block C-3 does not impact SEML’s interest or activity in Block C-10 and SEML look forward to working with Tullow to mature the existing portfolio and finalise the planned well on Block C-10 for 2017.

Adapted from a press release by Louise Mulhall

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