London – African-focused British explorer Tullow Oil Plc said it found oil and gas-condensate at a key well off the coast of Mauritania, in a development it described as opening a new oil play in the West African country.
Tullow said on Wednesday that the Fregate-1 well off the coast of Mauritania had encountered up to 30 metres of gas condensate and oil in multiple sands.
Analysts had been keenly awaiting the result of the well and had said a positive result would be a major boost for the company after a string of disappointing drilling results last year.
Tullow reported 2013 operating profit of $381 million, a 68 percent fall on the year before but ahead of a consensus forecast.
The fall was a result of lower profits from disposals compared to 2012 and a higher exploration write-off, already flagged in an update in January.
Meanwhile, the firm acquired new acreage in Suriname, Norway, Namibia and Guyana, boosting its portfolio and helping to diversify it geographically.
Tullow said that its development plan for the TEN project offshore Ghana is on track to achieve first oil in mid-2016 after having been approved by the country’s government. Meanwhile, the firm highlighted the government of Kenya’s decision to support development studies following commercial discoveries of at least 600 million barrels of oil and Uganda’s signing of a memorandum of understanding with partners in the Lake Albert Rift Basin Development Project.