Australian energy company WHL Energy Limited (WHL Energy or the Company) announced Friday that it has received initial approval from the Seychelles regulatory authority PetroSeychelles regarding an extension to the existing Amended and Restated Petroleum Agreement (ARPA) over the Company’s Seychelles exploration interests.
The extension requires WHL Energy to secure a farmin partner by Jan. 31, 2014 and is consistent with the amended terms offered earlier in the year to a potential farmin party including extending the Exploration Period 2 by a period of 18 months, up to July 31, 2015. This in turn will result in a deferral on the next relinquishment from the current 6,696 square miles (17,345 square kilometers) until the same date.
The work program for Exploration Period 2 will be formally amended replacing the outstanding 2D seismic commitment of 1,243 line miles (2,000 line kilometers) with the acquisition of a minimum of 386 square miles (1,000 square kilometers) of 3D seismic. The drilling program commitment has been confirmed as a single exploration well rather than the original two well commitment.
The previous 5 percent rate of Royalty referred has been amended to 8 percent, although it is has been agreed that the rate may be reduced to the original 5 percent in the event of a marginal discovery. The economic impact of the marginal increase in royalty is more than offset by the adoption of the 2013 Model Petroleum Agreement terms for the Petroleum Income Tax and Petroleum Additional Profits Tax.
Managing Director David Rowbottam said: “WHL Energy is pleased with the outcome as certainty was required prior to the next phase in the farmin process. WHL Energy is in the process of finalizing the engagement of an appropriate advisor to assist with the commercial aspects of the farmout in London during early November 2013 with the objective of securing a partner within the specified period.
“Once again we appreciate the ongoing support of PetroSeychelles and the Republic of Seychelles Government and we look forward to reporting further positive developments as they progress.”
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