Gulfsands Petroleum announced Friday that it has expanded its interests in Tunisia after agreeing to acquire additional 30-percent and 10-percent interests in the Chorbane and Kerkouane joint ventures respectively.
As well as the Tunisian interests, the deal will also see Gulfsands acquire 10-percent of the Pantellaria joint venture in Italy from ADX Energy. In return for farming out its stakes in Tunisia and Italy, ADX will receive a payment from Gulfsands of $1.1 million along with an additional $415,000 payment to reimburse it for past costs.
Meanwhile, Gulfsands has also agreed to fund up to $600,000 of ADX's share of a $2 million seismic program that is to be carried out on the onshore Chorbane permit.
Following the completion of the transactions, Gulfsands will hold a 70-percent interest in and operatorship of the Chorbane joint venture and hold a 40-percent interest in both the offshore Kerkouane and Pantellaria joint ventures.
Gulfsands also revealed that it has formed a strategic alliance with Rift Basin Resources to pursue projectsin the Middle East and North Africa regions.
"We are pleased to have been able to increase our participating interests in these Tunisian permits and to assume operatorship of the Chorbane joint venture. We are planning for a significant increase in exploration activity during 2013 in order to advance preparations for the drilling of exploration wells on both the onshore and offshore permits during early 2014," Gulfsands CEO Ric Malcolm commented in a company statement.
Oil sector analysts at RBC Capital Markets in London commented in a research note:
"We see this as sensible consolidation, and an indication that management continues to look at new opportunities."
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