Addressing the Paydirt Media 2006 Africa Downunder Conference in Perth today,
Baraka Petroleum Managing Director, Mr Max de Vietri, said rising market prices, increasing demand and supply security had enhanced the opportunity for Mauritania and Mali to emerge as a key alternative energy supply to US and Europe.
The Company - which has assembled a suite of oil and gas assets in both countries - is due to participate in its first oil exploration well, Heron-1, in the next four weeks in Coastal Block 20 in Mauritania. Baraka largely has a free carried interest in the 200 million barrel plus target.
"The United States is looking to diversify its oil import base and have 25% of its oil imports sourced from Africa by 2015," Mr de Vietri said.
"Baraka has strategically sought exposure to this potential as commercialised oil outputs from either Mali or Mauritania can be safely supplied to the US through export infrastructure on the African west coast.
"In addition, our location provides a secure gas supply corridor through Algiers to the north to feed markets in Europe concerned about sovereign risk in Russia and the Middle East."
Mr de Vietri told delegates Baraka also planned to leverage its emerging long-term petroleum supply prospects through establishing an alliance of three to four companies that were seeking petroleum-based new venture projects in Africa.
"The Alliance - to be established in the forthcoming December quarter - will be acquisition positive and expose its members to higher value petroleum projects in the US$20-100 million range that they would not otherwise be able to be involved in or acquire individually.
"In real terms, it is a perfect opportunity for mining companies, particularly Australian miners who tend to have some savvy from their Australian resources experience with remote area oil and gas operations - to enter the petroleum business on the back of Baraka's connections in West Africa."
About Africa DownUnder Conference
The Africa DownUnder Conference, now in it's fourth year, is expected to be a blockbuster. Up to 400 delegates are expected at the two-day event. An impressive line-up of presenters have been invited and several African countries will have official representation. At least 50 corporate booths have been allocated, reflecting a diversity of commodity and geographical location which has made this "boutique" conference the enormously successful event that it is. Second only to South Africa's Indaba in Cape Town, Africa DownUnder has become a core resources event for Australian's either doing business or planning to work on the the African continent. Apart from the corporate show-and-tell presentations, key-note addresses will be made by top-ranking government officials from South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, Equatorial Guinea, Mali, Eritrea and Libya.
Baraka Energy & Resources Limited
Africa DownUnder Conference