The development of the Chinguetti and Tiof offshore oil fields, as well as spurring economic development, could open up far more of Mauritanian offshore acreage to exploration.
Moreover, the company's nearby Tiof find looks like unveiling an even more impressive field and so the hydrocarbon prospects for the whole of north-west Africa may have to be reassessed.
The partners have also uncovered a 300 metre gas column around 150km north of the Chinguetti and Tiof discoveries with the Pelican 1 exploration well.
While the oil industry waited for Wood-side's decision on Chinguetti, it was caught unawares by news of the Tiof find.
According to Hardman, Tiof contains 300-400m barrels, an estimate which boosted Hardman Resources' share price by 14%.