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Senegal oil efforts financed, FAR Ltd. says

West African oil and gas explorer says its strength was showcased in latest funding effort.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Senegal oil efforts financed, FAR Ltd. says
West African oil and gas explorer FAR Ltd. says it has the capital needed to finance one of the region's better offshore prospects. Image courtesy of FAR Ltd.

April 7 (UPI) -- A cash infusion from the placement of shares in West African oil and gas explorer FAR Ltd. is testimony to the region's potential, its managing director said.

The company said Friday it was over-subscribed for a placement of 1 billion shares, generating around $60 billion in capital it will use to fund drilling, evaluation and pre-development programs off the coast of Senegal, and potentially the acquisition of further assets off the Gambian coast.

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"It is testimony to the value that is yet to be unlocked in FAR that we have been able to raise this quantum of money in what is still a challenging market for oil companies," Managing Director Cath Norman said in a statement. "FAR is particularly pleased to have seen strong support from very large, leading overseas institutional investors who recognize the long-term potential of the company.

Trading in FAR Ltd. was halted for several days during the placement and resumed activity Friday. Shares in FAR in the Australian exchange were up 3.5 percent in Friday trading.

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The company has a stake in the SNE and FAN prospects off the coast of Senegal. When discovered in 2014, SNE in particular was considered one of the larger discoveries ever made. By the company's estimates, more than 1.5 billion barrels of oil may be in basins off the coast of Senegal and the results from the latest well discovery could lead to revisions in the reserve estimate.

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Norman said the placement puts the company in a strong position to fund its commitments for the year and through the final investment decision for the development of the SNE field, a decision that's expected by 2019.

FAR is focused on the broader Mauritania-Senegal-Guinea-Bissau basin. With eight regional oil discoveries so far, the company said MSGB is quickly emerging as an exploration "hot spot."

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