By John Lee.
Shares in Irish-based explorer Petrel Resources were up as much as 20 percent in early trading on Wednesday following the announcement that the company has agreed to acquire a 20 percent shareholding in Amira Hydrocarbons Wasit B.V. ("Amira"), which is the holder of a 25 per cent carried interest in certain oil and gas exploration and production licences in the Wasit Province of Iraq. The shares later fell back to almost to Tuesday's closing price.
- Strengthens Petrel's position in Iraq, where it has had a presence since 1999.
- Strategic partnership with Amira Industries N.V. ("Amira Industries"), Amira parent company, allows Petrel to benefit from Amira Industries' reputation and local capability in Iraq.
- Equates to a 5 per cent carried interest through to production in exploration and production licences operated by Oryx Petroleum in the Wasit Province of central Iraq.
- Petrel given a right of first refusal to participate in future exploration and production licences in the Iraqi provinces of Muthanna, Karbala, Babil and Najaf, once secured by Amira Industries.
- Arman Kayablian, COO of Amira Industries N.V., will join the board of Petrel as a non-executive director.
David Horgan (pictured), Managing Director of Petrel, commented:
"We are delighted to announce the expansion and diversification of our exploration portfolio with this acquisition. Petrel has a long-standing interest in Iraq. Following the recent farm out of our Irish acreage, the acquisition refocuses our efforts on one of the world's premier hydrocarbon basins.
"The addition of Amira's assets to our portfolio and the joint venture with the Kayablian family provides our shareholders with greater exposure to the world class hydrocarbon potential in Iraq.
"We are delighted to welcome Arman to the board and we look forward to working with him."
Lawrence Kayablian, Chairman of Amira Industries, commented:
"Amira Industries has been at the forefront of licence acquisitions in the Iraqi provinces and was the first oil company to sign oil and gas exploration and production contracts with the governments of Salah ad Din and Wasit. The group has developed local relationships which facilitate timely provincial government approval of its projects.
"The exposure to Petrel's assets in Ireland and Ghana and the addition of a strong operating team provides Amira Industries with a broader range of exploration opportunities in Iraq and internationally and we look forward to working with Petrel to expand our activities across the region."
(Sources: Petrel, Yahoo!)