Namibian Oil-Well Dud Weighs on Explorers’ Shares: London Mover

Chariot Oil & Gas Ltd. and Tower Resources Plc, U.K. energy companies in Namibia, led declines among explorers in the African country after a competitor’s well failed to find crude.

Chariot fell 10 percent to close at 17.25 pence in London, the biggest one-day decline since April 5. Tower Resources sank 12 percent, while Serica Energy Plc dropped 4.3 percent.

The Murombe-1 well, drilled by Brazil’s HRT Participacoes em Petroleo SA, will be abandoned after proving dry, partner Galp Energia SGPS SA said yesterday in a statement. It’s a further setback for explorers off Namibia, where 18 wells in past decades have failed to find commercial deposits of crude.

HRT traded down as much as 15 percent in Sao Paulo, while Galp rose 1.1 percent to 11.91 euros in Lisbon.

Namibia has attracted attention from the world’s biggest oil companies, with BP Plc and Repsol SA snapping up assets on a bet that its coastal shelf may mirror that of Brazil across the Atlantic Ocean, where the Lula discovery in 2007 was the Americas’ biggest offshore find in three decades.

The results of HRT’s well have given Chariot “key information” about the local geology, Chariot Chief Executive Officer Larry Bottomley said today in an e-mail. The Guernsey, Channel Islands-based company is seeking partners for its Central Blocks off Namibia before drilling a well next year.

Tower Resources and Repsol also plan to drill a well off Namibia in February, Tower CEO Graeme Thomson said today in a statement.

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