Aker Exploration Obtains 35% Interest in North Sea

"PL343 in the vicinity of the Oseberg field strengthens Aker Exploration's position in one of our target areas," says Aker Exploration President and CEO Bard Johansen.

Marathon Petroleum Norge, the PL 343 operator, will retain a 42.25% interest in the license after Aker Exploration acquires a 35% license stake and Talisman Energy Norge will own 22.75%.

No decision has yet been made as to when exploration drilling will begin. The transaction is contingent upon approval by the Norwegian regulatory authorities.

In addition, Aker Exploration, together with the other PL 321 partners, was awarded a 35% interest in additional acreage adjoining PL 321, designated PL 321B, as a result of an application by the PL 321 licensees to the authorities. This is the same stake as in PL321.

Including the PL 343 license transaction, Aker Exploration has ownership interests in eight licenses, six of which are located in the Norwegian Sea and two in northern areas of the North Sea. The company has been prequalified as an operator on the Norwegian continental shelf and intends to drill between five and seven wells per year.

Aker Exploration, which is financed through a NOK 3.2 billion capital base, has entered into a long-term drilling agreement with Aker Drilling for deployment of the sixth-generation semisubmersible platform Aker Barents.

Aker Exploration is aggressively targeting new oil and gas resources through license applications and swapping drilling capacity for license stakes. The company is conducting comprehensive electromagnetic Seabed Logging (SBL) and seismic surveys to select optimal drilling sites for discovering subsea hydrocarbon resources. Akers is in the process of obtaining a listing on Oslo Axess.

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