Aker Exploration AS has entered into a swap agreement with Det norske oljeselskap ASA.
Aker Exploration will acquire a 30% interest in PL 463S in the northern North Sea in return for a 12.5% interest in PL 460, where Det norske already has a 40% interest and is the license operator. Accordingly, Aker Exploration's interest is reduced to 47.5% in this license.
After the 30% transaction in PL 463S, Det norske will hold 70% in this license. This is a stratigraphically divided license including everything above top chalk. Production License 463S is located in an area northwest of Oseberg in the North Sea. A drilling decision for this license will be made during 2009.
As a consequence of this agreement, Det norske will increase its interest in PL 460 by 12.5%, from 40 to 52.5%. This license is located next to PL 364, which includes the Frøy Field. Det norske presented a Plan for Development and Operation (PDO) for the Froy redevelopment to Norwegian authorities in March.
Det norske welcomes this opportunity to increase its ownership interest in an area with interesting exploration potential. Commercial discoveries may possibly be tied back to the new Froy installation.
"We have further strengthened our position in Aker Exploration's focus areas of the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS). This agreement is a new confirmation that we have an attractive business model based on our 'rig for oil' concept, and also that we have a very competent organization, says Bard Johansen, President and CEO in Aker Exploration. As part of the swap agreement Aker Exploration will provide the semisubmersible drilling rig Aker Barents for one exploration well in PL 460.
Aker Exploration now has a promising portfolio with ownership interests in 17 licenses in northern areas of the NCS.
The Company aims to drill between 5 and 7 wells per year with Aker Barents. The first well is planned to be drilled on PL 304 where Lundin Norway AS is the operator and where Aker Exploration has a 30% interest.
The transaction with Det norske is contingent upon approval by the Norwegian authorities.
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