Aker Exploration Reports on Last Quarter, Ready to Spin Bit in 3Q
During the first 6 months of 2009, Aker Exploration has strengthened its license portfolio from 17 to 22 license interests on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Drilling operations with Aker Barents are expected to commence on August 15, 2009.
"Aker Exploration is about to start a new phase in its short history. Ever since the start of the company in 2006, we have planned for a successful start of drilling operations with our rig Aker Barents. The second half of 2009 will be a very eventful period for the company," said CEO Bard Johansen in Aker Exploration.
The company's loss after tax was NOK 139,7million in the first half of 2009. This includes a pre-tax loss of NOK 91,4 million related to
the dry well on PL 304. The loss for the same period in 2008 was NOK 93.4 million.
The accounts are further affected by an unrealised exchange loss of NOK 141.7 million on the company's hedging instruments of which NOK 97.3 million has been recorded in the second quarter alone caused by a weakening of the USD against the NOK. The company's loss for the second quarter was NOK 92.1 million compared to a loss of NOK 51.3 million for the second quarter in 2008.
"We have a strong financial position," said Bard Johansen. "We have only drawn NOK 100 million on our credit facility of over NOK 1.8
billion and we are well equipped to complete an aggressive exploration program."
On July 26, 2009, the three years' contract commenced with Aker Drilling for the rental of Aker Barents, the world's largest and most advanced drilling rig. A successful testing program was completed on the August 8, 2009 and drilling operations on PL 321 in the Norwegian Sea are planned to commence on the August 15, 2009 and are expected to last for 45 days. Det Norske oljeselskapet ASA is the license operator and Aker Exploration has a 35% interest. Aker Exploration plans to drill between 5 and 7 wells annually with Aker Barents.
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