In 2012 Benchmark became a strategic investor in Madagascar Oil plc, an AiM listed company with 100% operated interest in the Tsimiroro heavy oil deposit onshore Madagascar.  Benchmark is the largest shareholder and creditor to Madagascar Oil. Benchmark is the largest and only strategic shareholder in Madagascar Oil. 

As well as significant geological field and desk-based studies,  Madagascar Oil has drilled 138 wells to define the extent of the resource. This work has resulted in an assessment that the area referred to as the Tsimiroro Field may contain over 5.5 billion barrels of total oil-in-place, and 1.78 billion barrels is classified as Contingent resource by Netherlands Sewell (NSAI, 2011).

In 2008, steam injection was shown to yield stimulated oil production in a successful 3-well cyclic steam stimulation pilot. The results allowed a larger steam flood pilot (25 well, 9-pattern 5-spot design) to be implemented in 2013. Based on the results of the steam flood pilot Madagascar Oil made a Declaration of Commerciality in May 2014 leading to the submission of the Block 3104 Development Plan in October 2014 and the award of a 25 year Development license in April, 2015.

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