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Hibiscus buys 50% stake in PL760 and PL760B licenses in Norwegian Sea licences

Hibiscus buys 50% stake in PL760 and PL760B licenses in Norwegian Sea licences

OSLO: Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd’s jointly-controlled entity, Lime Petroleum Norway AS (Lime Norway), is acquiring a 50% stake in the PL760 and PL760B licenses in the Norwegian Sea from EnQuest Norge AS.

The company told Bursa Malaysia that Lime Norway, a unit of Lime Petroleum Plc (in which Hibiscus Petroleum owns a 35% stake), would have a stake equal to France-based Total’s unit Total E&P Norge AS, subject to the authority’s approval.

Drilling could take place in 2016 or 2017, given a drill decision milestone in February 2016, it said.

The two new licences would raise Lime Norway’s licences in Norway to 18.

Hibiscus did not provide any financial figures in Monday’s announcement. In March Lime Norway secured an increase in the financing facility obtained from Skandinaviska Ensklida Banken AB (SEB) from 300 million kroner (RM140.8mil) to 700 million kroner (RM328.6mil) to fund its drilling programme in 2015.

The PL760 and PL7608 licenses are located some 25km west of the Norne oil/gas field in the Norwegian Sea in water depth of 370 metres.

Lime Norway was accorded pre-qualification status as a licensee in Norway in February 2013, allowing the company to directly assume participating interests in partner-operated licenses in Norway, in addition to facilitating its receipt of a cash tax refund of 78% of exploration costs annually.

Hibiscus shares, which have gained about 10% since early last month, closed at 85 sen on Monday, up 2 sen from last Friday