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Tensions Ease in Mauritania After Coup Leaders Name PM
By Mary Motta
08 August 2005

Mauritanians appear hopeful for their future, after the leader of last week's coup named a new prime minister who is seen as having broad support and respect, and who has previously served as head of government.

Junta leader Colonel Ely Ould Mohamed Vall announced his selection for prime minister Sunday. The man selected, Sidi Mohamed Ould Boubacar, returned to Mauritania on Saturday from France, where he has served as ambassador since last year, to take up the post.

Last week's bloodless coup left many international observers nervous about Mauritania's future. The African Union, the United Nations and the United States were among the critics of the ouster of longtime President Maaouiya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya, who was out of the country at the time, and is currently in nearby Niger.

Olly Owen, an African politics analyst for the World Markets Research Center in London, said the new prime minister, who also held the post from 1992-1996, was the right choice. "As to the interim government, I think that it is quite a progressive move that they decided to defer the actual exercise of power from themselves, and get someone who is fairly across-the-board, someone who would be respected by conservatives and other people within the former ruling party, as well as people in the opposition party. So, it will give him the space to breathe and see what he comes up with," he said.

The appointment followed the resignation earlier Sunday of former Prime Minister Sidi Mohamed Ould Boubacarand his Cabinet.

The coup has been welcomed by many in Mauritania, who had grown weary of more than 20 years of what they perceived as President Ould Taya's totalitarian rule.

Salem Bokari, a journalist living in the capital Nouakchott, said the appointment of the transitional government gives Mauritanians a reason to be optimistic. "Now, the people of Mauritania are looking to the future with hope. They know better than ever now their future, and the manifestation and all the population in the streets express their congratulations, and they are enjoying the new power," he said.

On Saturday, Mr. Vall, the coup leader and self-declared head of state, met with the heads of more than 30 political parties in Nouakchott, and promised that elections would take place in less than two years. He also assured politicians that no member of his 17-man junta would try to stand in the way of a democratic election.

But analyst Owen says the promise of non-intervention in the election process is not a sure thing. "I think the constitutional amendment announcement that was made on Saturday shows that they've got some concrete ideas about how they want to go about that. The real key issue is, when oil revenues start flowing in the first quarter of 2006, whether that kind of willpower is going to

survive," he said.

On Sunday, a judge announced the conditional release of about 21 people detained by the previous government and accused of being involved with Islamist extremism. About 50 other people remain in prison on similar charges.

But Mauritanians may not have heard the last of Mr. Ould Taya. In an interview with the satellite television network Al-Arabiya, the ousted president called those who staged the coup "criminals" who betrayed him. He said he will return to his country "soon," and called on his former security forces to reinstate him.
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Business as usual in Mauritania, (coup or no coup)....




Energem acquires block 18 in Mauritania

    VANCOUVER, Aug. 8 /CNW/ - Energem Resources Inc (TSX:ENM) ("the Company") is pleased to advise that a wholly owned subsidiary has acquired the
exploitation rights to the shallow water off-shore block 18 in Mauritania. The
purchase of this up-stream oil block forms part of a series of up-stream
properties the purchase of which is being concluded by the Company and which
in turn form part of the subject matter of negotiations for the substantial
transaction with a third party first referred to by the Company, together with
its subsidiary FirstAfrica Oil plc (FAO), in an announcement dated March 30th,

    In terms of existing arrangements FAO have, subject to a mutually
acceptable independent valuation process, a first right of refusal to acquire
this Mauritanian property from Energem.

    The award of this block has been confirmed by the Ministry of Energy and
Petroleum of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and a Production Sharing
Contract was concluded on July 26th 2005. The acquisition cost, inclusive of
sign on bonuses, amounts to US$3.2 million to be settled in stages over 120
days and an initial payment of US$500 000 has been made to date.

    This exploration block is situated within a known hydro carbon basin
adjacent to Blocks 4, 5 and 6 where Woodside Petroleum has made substantial
recent discoveries, including the Chinguettie Field presently under
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HDR Drilling report for Sotto 1


Hardman Resources Limited (ÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Â¦ÃƒƒÂ¢Ãƒ¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…âہ“HardmanÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’â€Å¡Ãƒƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚ÂÂ) provides the following progress report on the Mauritania offshore drilling programme:

Sotto-1 Exploration Well, PSC A

Progress and Current Status:

The Stena Tay rig has drilled the Sotto -1 well to 1,147m RT. The operation at midnight on 8 August was running 13-3/8 inch casing.

Well Location:
The Sotto-1 well is located approximately 110km southwest of Nouakchott, the Mauritanian capital, and 42km south of the Chinguetti Field. Water depth is 320m and the planned total depth of the well is approximately 3,350m below rig datum.

Well Details:
The well is targeting canyon fill sands in a Lower Miocene interval, of approximately the same age as the Chinguetti and Tiof Oil discoveries in PSC B. This well is expected to yield valuable information about the southern part of PSCÃÆâ€â„¢ÃƒÆ’ƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¡Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¬ÃƒÆ’¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢Ã¢â€š¬Ã…¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¬ÃƒÆ’…¾Ãƒâہ¡ÃƒÆ’‚¢s A and B, and if successful will extend the area of the prospective Miocene basin.
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U.S. decides to deal with Mauritania's junta

By Nick Tattersall

NOUAKCHOTT (Reuters) - The United States on Tuesday dropped a demand that Mauritania's ousted president should be restored, saying it was pressing the military junta in the West African state to carry out a constitutional transition of power.

Diplomats said foreign nations would support the junta, which staged a bloodless coup last week, if it showed it could live up to a pledge to organize democratic elections.

The seizure of power by the 17-member military council in the Islamic republic ended two decades of authoritarian rule by President Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya. The council promised presidential elections within two years.

"The guys running the country right now are the guys we're dealing with because they're the ones making the decisions and we are trying to get them to make the right decision," State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said in Washington.

"That decision is to have in Mauritania a government that is in power on the basis of constitutional process," said Ereli.

Mauritania, which straddles black and Arab Africa and hopes to start pumping oil next year, has had a series of uprisings and attempted military coups in recent years.

The United States, as part of President Bush's war against terrorism, has been sending officers to train soldiers in Mauritania and other countries in the region to combat militants thought to be operating in the Sahara.

Washington, the European Union and the African Union (AU) among others had condemned the putsch, with U.S. officials initially calling for Taya to be restored to power.


But Mauritania's opposition and even Taya's own political party swiftly backed the junta's plans, and jubilant residents took to the streets of the capital Nouakchott in celebration.

"The international community had to condemn the coup out of principle. A coup is a coup. But the team that took over has a lot of support here," said one Western diplomat in Nouakchott, declining to be named.

Taya, who had been in Niger since the coup, unexpectedly traveled to Gambia on Tuesday. On Monday, Taya said he would return to Mauritania soon, urging soldiers to resist the new leadership.

Nigerian and South African envoys, sent by the 53-nation AU, arrived in Nouakchott on Tuesday to meet the military council's head, Colonel Ely Ould Mohamed Vall, as well as the prime minister, political party leaders and members of civil society.

"The principle of the AU is not to agree with coups ... But we believe we should not have one policy to fit every situation," South Africa's ambassador to Mauritania, Rantobeng William Mokou, told Reuters.

Libya's Foreign Minister Mohammed Abdel-Rahman Shalgam, who also held talks with the junta, said the will of Mauritania's people had to be taken into account.

"After hearing the words of the president of the military council ... we have the impression that the Mauritanian people have started to approve (the change) and we approve what the Mauritanian people approve," he said.

On Tuesday evening, civil servants and technocrats were being summoned by the freshly named civilian prime minister, Sidi Mohamed Ould Boubacar, with the aim of forming a new government which is likely to be announced on Wednesday.

Many Mauritanians dismiss the sudden interest outsiders have taken in the former French colony, saying they were silent while Taya had opponents tortured or expelled during his 21-year rule.

Taya managed to isolate Mauritania from sub-Saharan Africa by expelling thousands of black Africans and alienate it from the Arab world by establishing diplomatic links with Israel.

The military council has bolstered its support by freeing some political prisoners, holding meetings with parties from all sides and promising a constitutional referendum.

(Additional reporting by Mohamed Fadel in Nouakchott, Marie-Louise Gumuchian in Dakar, Abdoulaye Massalatchi in Niamey and Pap Saine in Banjul)

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Looks like Max de Vietri has confidence in BKP in light of the recent bloodless coup at Mauritania. He has added 1M BKP to his holdings. He now holds 48M.


The Top 20 Shareholders hold around 70% of BKP stock which does not leave much free stock for the public.


If Supply versus Demand theory is correct, then any big demand for BKP stock can push the SP up quickly....


Looking at the chart, the SP is almost back to where it was before the coup.


Another encouraging sign is that the OBV is also back to the same level before the coup.


Looking forward to some positive results from the nearby Sotto & Colin explorations well by WPL/HDR consortium in the next few weeks....


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In reply to: annaliese on Friday 12/08/05 01:02pm

Welcome aboard Annaliese, the more the merrier... http://www.sharescene.com/html/emoticons/wink.gif


The next few weeks/months will be interesting....


Dana Petroleum have their Faucon and Petrel prospects in Block 1 and WPL/HDR have Sotto and Colin targets to test.





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