Tower acquires Comet Petroleum, SADR license stake

Tower Resources has completed its acquisition of Comet Petroleum, giving it access to a 50% stake in two exploration licenses in the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic.

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, June 20 -- Tower Resources PLC, London, has completed its acquisition of Comet Petroleum Ltd., giving it access to a 50% stake in two exploration licenses in the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR). It has paid with new shares worth £47,201 plus at least £500,000 each for two exploration licenses.

Tower Executive Chairman Peter Kingston said, "The Comet assets in SADR have considerable technical merit, and when the licenses become operative, they are likely to have equivalent prospectivity to other northwest African exploration provinces."

The 15,760 sq km Guelta and 44,298 sq km Bojador blocks are in the frontier Aaiun basin, which is adjacent to proved productive basins in Mauritania and is along the North Atlantic margin of northwest Africa. Guelta lies in 100-2,800 m of water and the Bojador license lies onshore.

Conoco discovered asphalt in the early Tertiary and throughout early-to-late Cretaceous rock when it drilled a well in shallow water more than 25 years ago.

"A 13-m thick tar saturated sand was found in the Aptian. An extensive Lower Cretaceous deltaic sequence is present in the shallow to mid-range of water depths, and becomes progressively more marine to the west," Tower said.

The company is confident there is a working petroleum system in the blocks because Triassic salt to the west suggests there could be large tilted fault blocks, overlain by drape structures, providing multilevel prospectivity.

Tower said the license commitments were "confidential but are consistent with industry norms and the uncertainties surrounding the license awards." It said, "They comprise agreed geological and geophysical studies, seismic acquisition, and well drilling operations over three phases of exploration each of 3 years' duration. These become effective once the territorial dispute has been resolved and SADR becomes a universally acknowledged nation state."

Partners are Maghreb Exploration Ltd. 10% and Osceola Hydrocarbons Ltd. 40%.

SADR held a license round in early 2006, awarding license interests to eight international companies. It is planning a second license round this year.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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