Court Blocks Petrolifera's Salinas Grande Award

Argentine province La Pampa's Cuentas court has blocked plans to award Calgary-based Petrolifera Petroleum (TSX: PDP) the Salinas Grand I block due to alleged "administrative deficiencies" in the oil company's application.

"Petrolifera intends to appeal and challenge the decision," the company said in a statement. "However, there can be no assurance that Petrolifera will be successful in its appeal."

According to the bidding rules, the award must go to the second-place bidder if the original winner is blocked from the project, a La Pampa government official told BNamericas. A group made up of Gregorio, Numo y Noel Werthein, Petrosiel and Energial came in second in the Salinas Grande bidding.

La Pampa's provincial government originally notified Petrolifera its bid to acquire Salinas Grande was successful, the company reported in August. The 4,280 sq km block is immediately north of Petrolifera's Rinconada block.

Petrolifera had planned a US$6.5mn work commitment for the project, including possibly 2D seismic work and several wells over three years.

Petrolifera shares were down 0.4% at Cdn$24.85 on Wednesday afternoon.

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