Gulfsands Petroleum builds up stakes in JVs

Oil company Gulfsands Petroleum has acquired an additional 30 per cent participating interest in the Chorbane joint venture (JV) and a 10 per cent participating interest in Kerkouane and Pantellaria JVs, in Tunisia and Italy respectively.

Oil company Gulfsands Petroleum has acquired an additional 30 per cent participating interest in the Chorbane joint venture (JV) and a 10 per cent participating interest in Kerkouane and Pantellaria JVs, in Tunisia and Italy respectively.

It has also formed a strategic alliance with Rift Basin Resources.

Participating InterestsGulfsands will become the operator of the Chorbane JV, which is located onshore central Tunisia near the port city of Sfax. The group plans to start a seismic programme on the permit in the New Year, which it anticipates will cost in the region of $2.0m.

At the Kerkouane permit, also offshore Tunisia, the company is planning to undertake a re-evaluation of existing 2D and 3D seismic data acquired within the permit in preparation for a joint venture decision to continue with the drilling of the commitment well before February 2014.

The group will hold a 40% participating interest in the Kerkouane and Pantellaria JVs.

The total consideration for these transactions will result in the payment of a $1.1m purchase price and reimbursement of around $415,000 in past costs.

Strategic Alliance with Rift Basin ResourcesThe company has established a strategic alliance with Rift Basin Resources with the aim of facilitating the pursuit and acquisition of petroleum projects in Tunisia and elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa. Gulfsands will take a 70% participating interest and act as the operator of any project acquired under the alliance, with Rift Basin taking a 30% interest.

Gulfsands Chief Executive Officer, Ric Malcolm, said: "We are pleased to have been able to increase our participating interests in these Tunisian permits and to assume operatorship of the Chorbane joint venture. We are planning for a significant increase in exploration activity during 2013 in order to advance preparations for the drilling of exploration wells on both the onshore and offshore permits during early 2014."

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