London-listed junior Wildcat Petroleum is in early talks to access upstream opportunities in Sudan, Chad and South Sudan.
Executives at the company, which earlier this year secured an option more than 20 exploration blocks offshore Sierra Leone, recently visited two of the countries’ capitals — Khartoum and N’Djamena — to sound out investment opportunities and will head to Juba next month.
In addition, the ambitious junior is looking at business prospects in Somalia, Djibouti and Ethiopia.
The aim of Wildcat, according to chairman Mandhir Singh, is to secure a stake in producing assets “with resources in the billions of barrels” range.
Wildcat recently established a representative office in Khartoum, which will act as a hub for activities in Sudan, South Sudan and Chad, with Omar Badawi Abu-Elbashar as manager.
Omar, an experienced petroleum engineer, is also managing director of local oil and gas consultancy Petro-Tec and, according to Wildcat, “has built up an extensive network in the higher echelons of the African oil industry and is on first name terms with many of the key players”.
Wildcat chairman Mandhir Singh, accompanied by Omar, recently met with Sudan Oil Minister Muhammad Abdullah and Ahmed Ziada, head of state oil company Sudapet.
In Chad, Wildcat director Glyn Roberts, also accompanied by Omar, had meetings with executives at the country’s oil ministry “to get a good understanding of opportunities available in the country”.
During next month’s visit to Juba, Wildcat executives and Omar plan to hold meetings with South Sudan President Salva Kiir, Minister of Petroleum Puot Kang Choi and the managing director of state-run oil company Chol Abel.
In addition, the company plans to hold meetings with the oil ministers of Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti.
Last year, Omar was a key organiser of South Sudan’s debut oil and gas licensing round.