Tangiers Petroleum will almost certainly never produce a barrel of oil from its 25% interest in an offshore Moroccan exploration block. With a 20% chance of a discovery, the hole now being drilled has an 80% chance of failing. If the operator finds what it is looking for, the subsequent development could be worth $2-3 billion, perhaps more, but only after spending nearly two billion dollars. Development will be well beyond the capacity of Tangiers' $60 million market cap to bear. There is a 95% chance that Tangiers will be bought by another company if the hole is successful, according to company MD David Wall today. Will the buying price, under these circumstances, compensate for the early stage investment risk? Here's some maths: let's say there is a 20% chance of a 300% return and an 80% chance of a -70% return. Worthwhile?