Sterling Energy’s subsidiary Sterling Energy Mauritania (SEML) has announced its withdrawal from Block C-3, located offshore in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.

As part of this, the company will assign its entire participating interest of 40.5% in the production sharing contract (PSC) for the block to Tullow Mauritania.

The company said it has completed minimum work obligations for Block C-3.

Upon completion of the assignment, Tullow will operate the PSC with 90% interest and the remaining 10% would be owned by Société Mauritanienne des Hydrocarbures et de Patrimoine Minier.

"The company plans to work with Tullow to mature the existing portfolio and finalise the planned well on Block C-10 by 2017."

The PSC was awarded in 2013 and covers Block C-3 comprising an area of about 9,800km².

With the acquisition of interest in Block C-3 from Tullow in July 2015, SEML entered into an underexplored area of the Mauritanian shelfal region with a newly acquired regional infill 2D seismic grid.

Block C-3 also provided the company with protection acreage adjacent to its other exploration interest in Block C-10, offshore Mauritania, which will not be affected by the withdrawal.

The company plans to work with Tullow to mature the existing portfolio and finalise the planned well on Block C-10 by 2017.

Sterling Energy CEO Eskil Jersing said: "Our entry into the C-3 block was prefaced on the block providing dependent running room for the immature shelfal Cretaceous and Jurassic plays recognised in Block C-10.

"The withdrawal from Block C-3 is entirely in-line with our approach of disciplined exploration."

Completion of the withdrawal is subject to the approval by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania.