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The Times: Dominion explores patch left by Shell

June 19, 2006

By Peter Klinger
DOMINION PETROLEUM is hoping to follow in the steps of Cairn Energy by drilling its way to a fortune in territory abandoned by Royal Dutch Shell.

The London-based company is hoping to raise $60 million (£32.5 million) in an initial public offering before a $338 million flotation on the Alternative Investment Market to help to fund an oil and gas exploration programme in Tanzania. 
Dominion’s focus is on an onshore area in the East African country where Shell had drilled previously for oil and gas. Shell’s hunt proved unsuccessful and the Anglo-Dutch group walked out of Tanzania. Dominion believes that up to $200 million-worth of exploration work had been carried out in the area, providing valuable data for the newcomer to focus future exploration efforts. It estimates that its three licences, covering ten million acres, contain possible reserves of 104 million barrels of oil and gas — before even drilling one well.

Cairn, the Edinburgh company, refused to give up on a venture with Shell in north-western India. Shell walked out of the project, but Cairn continued to drill and discovered a billion-plus barrel oilfield in Rajasthan. The find propelled Cairn into the FTSE 100.

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