Aker Exploration Ready to Acquire New License Interests
Aker Exploration was established in 2006 with the aim to develop a "rig for oil" concept using long term access to a drilling rig to acquire interests in licenses through farm-in deals with other Norwegian oil companies and through direct license awards.
Aker Exploration is ready to discover new petroleum resources on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, says Bard Johansen, CEO of Aker Exploration.
In 2006 Aker Exploration has accomplished the following:
- Obtained qualification as a license holder on the NCS from the Norwegian authorities by demonstrating a competent organization
- Entered into a 3 year rig contract with Aker Drilling. The rig which is currently under construction, will be a state-of-the-art 6th generation rig, capable of drilling in the most prospective areas of the NCS
- Obtained equity and loan financing totaling the Norwegian kroner equivalent of US $225 million as well as a US $300 million revolving credit facility with a bank syndicate
- Entered into a farm-in deal with Pertra ASA for a 15% interest in Production license 321
- Been awarded a 15% interest in PL 416 in the APA 2006 licensing round
In the first half of 2007, Aker Exploration intends to apply for a listing on the Oslo Stock Exchange and will continue to strengthen the organization. By the time operations commence with the rig in late 2008 the company will have between 20 and 30 employees. Between now and then, the company will use the time available to enter into additional farm-in deals and to apply for direct awards in up and coming licensing rounds to obtain a significant portfolio of drilling opportunities.
As expected, the Aker Exploration Group's 2006 financial statements reflect the nature of the start-up activities during the year. The preliminary (unaudited) financial statements show that the company had NOK 0 in turnover, a pre-tax loss of NOK 37 million and an after-tax loss for the year of - NOK 8 million. Total assets amounted to NOK 1 456 million, of which cash and cash equivalents amounted to NOK 1 346 million. Total equity amounted to NOK 974 million representing an equity ratio of 66.7%
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