Aker Exploration buys out Chevron stake in PL283

Aker Exploration says it has agreed with Chevron to acquire the US oil major's 12.5% share in Production License 283 - a license the Norwegian listed group says potentially holds several interesting prospects in a prospective exploration region on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

The agreement, which involves a cash settlement to Chevron, is subject to final approval by the Norwegian authorities. The price of the deal was not revealed.

"We are strengthening our position further in the Vøring Basin, representing an exciting opportunity in a license with good potential," said Bård Johansen, CEO of Aker Exploration.

License 283 will be partly relinquished to the Norwegian authorities on June 14. The partnership will retain an area constituting several potentially interesting prospects, Aker said.

The committed work programme for the license has been completed to date.

Strong potential

Under the deal with Chevron, Aker Exploration will acquire the 12.5% share in PL 283 and following the transaction, will hold a 25% in the license.

"The license prospectivity may be influenced by a potential discovery in the nearby Gro prospect, which is currently drilled by Shell," Johansen said.

"Aker Exploration has a particular focus towards such attractive areas in the northern parts of the NCS.

"If license 283 proves sufficient attractiveness, this may open the possibility of the rig Aker Barents to drill the next exploration well," Johansen added.

Partners in license 283 are Statoil (30% and operator), ConocoPhillips (15%), Petoro (20%), Centrica (10%) and Aker Exploration (25%).

Aker Exploration has interests in 21 licenses on the NCS, and will in June participate in the drilling of an exploration well on license 304 with the rig Songa Dee.

Following this well, Aker Exploration starts a 3 year continuous drilling programme with the rig Aker Barents, focusing on exploration areas in the northern North Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea.


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