Hibiscus Expands Licence Portfolio in Norway
Hibiscus Petroleum has announced that its jointly-controlled entity, Lime Petroleum Norway AS (Lime Norway), has on 3 December 2013, signed an additional agreement with North Energy ASA (North Energy) to acquire a 20% stake in a new licence, PL 509, in Norway. The transfer of the 20% stake is pending regulatory approval.
Lime Norway is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lime Petroleum Plc, an entity jointly controlled by Gulf Hibiscus Ltd, Schroder & Co Banque S.A. and Rex Oil & Gas Ltd (Rex). North Energy is a qualified petroleum exploration company, listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange, which holds participating interests in 22 production licenses in the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).
PL 509 contains oil prospects in areas totalling some 977 square kilometres which are located in the North Sea, south of the Gullfaks area and about 150 kilometres west of Bergen in Norway on the NCS. A potential discovery could be tied back to existing nearby infrastructure.
Erik Karlstrøm, CEO of North Energy, said, “This agreement forms an important part of the long-term efforts in optimising our portfolio towards drilling multiple oil prospects both as partner and operator in the following years. We see Lime Norway as a constructive partner both in PL 509 and other licences in this endeavour.”
In addition to the acquisition of interest in PL 509, on 29 November 2013, Lime Norway signed a NOK 300 million (about RM156 million) credit facility with Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (SEB), a leading Nordic corporate bank. These funds together with equity contributions are expected to fully finance Lime Norway’s activities into 2015, including its participation in the drilling of at least 2 exploration wells. Under the Norwegian Petroleum Tax Act, the government refunds 78% of all exploration costs relating to petroleum related activities on the NCS , thereby significantly reducing the equity outlay required for exploration activities.
In September 2013, the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy had approved the acquisition of four concessions (namely PL 503, PL 503B, PL 616 and PL 498) by Lime Norway from North Energy. On 29 November 2013, the transfer of 10% interest each in PL 707 and PL 708 was effected. With the acquisition of a stake in PL 509, Hibiscus Petroleum’s portfolio of licences in Norway will increase to 7.
Press Release, December 06, 2013