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Genel completes acquisition of controlling stake in oil exploration south of Malta

Genel plc has completed the acquisition of 75% of the shareholding in Phoenicia Energy Company Ltd (PECL) held by Mediterranean Oil & Gas.

PECL owns the rights to exploration activity in Area 4 in the sea south of Malta.

Genel has made an immediate cash payment of US$10 million and will fund the cost for the first exploration well, called Hagar Qim 1, planned to be drilled to a minimum depth of 2,500 metres. Drilling is due to start late next year or early next year.

Genel will also shoulder the cost for a second exploration well up to a maximum of US$30 million.

Genel Energy plc, formerly Vallares PLC, is an exploration and production company. It is an independent oil producer in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

Area 4 (Blocks 4,5,6 and 7) off Malta covers an area where the maritime border has been agreed and internationally recognised with Libya. The blocks are within the Medina Bank area in water depths of around 500m.

"Hydrocarbon production has been established in adjacent areas for several decades with the Area 4 block having considerable exploration potential. Genel’s blocks are anticipated to be geologically similar to the producing areas of the Libya Sirte Basin and Tunisia," Genel said on its website.

"3D seismic has been shot and interpreted which has identified a number of plays and several prospects have been defined in each play type, with total prospective acreage of 800 mmboe targeted. A large prospect and lead inventory is being developed, with an initial exploration well planned for late 2013/early 2014."

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