CALGARY – Niko Resources Ltd. (TSX:NKO), a Calgary oil and gas company which operates in Asia and the Caribbean, says it has been awarded two new production sharing contracts in Indonesia, a major focus of the company’s energy exploration efforts.
The company said Monday the North Ganal licence covers 2,432 square kilometres of deep water acreage in the oil and gas province of East Kalimantan. other companies in the consortium include subsidiaries from European oil companies Eni, Statoil, GDF Suez and Black Platinum Energy.
Italian oil producer Eni will operate the project
The Obi licence covers 8,057 square kilometres in eastern Indonesia, south of Halmahera Island. The contract was awarded to a group involving Niko, Statoil and Manley N.V. Niko will operate the project.
With these two licences, Niko is part of 18 Indonesian exploration contracts, covering 22 million acres and the company maintains its position as the largest holder of deep water exploration acreage in Indonesia.
A few weeks ago, Niko said it had signed a $700 million contract for drilling services in Indonesia.
The contract with a subsidiary of Diamond Offshore, a major deepwater drilling contractor, will begin late next spring or early summer.
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Last week, Niko said it had completed its first offshore well in Trinidad, a new exploration focus area for the company.
Niko said the Rowan Gorilla III rig is on location at the Stalin prospect, the first of three wells planned for Block 2ab off Trinidad and Tobago’s eastern continental shelf in the Caribbean Sea northeast of Venezuela.
The Stalin-1 well is named after the popular calypso great, Black Stalin.
Niko operates the block and has a 35.75 per cent working interest. Its partners in the exploration block are Trinidad energy company Petrotrin, with 35 per cent, and Britain’s Centrica Plc, with 29.25 per cent.
Niko has it will focus more of its exploration on Trinidad and Indonesia as the company moves away from expanding in India, where it faces some hurdles to growth.
In its latest financial report, Niko posted a net loss of nearly US$44 million in its most recent quarter as the company took exploration costs and one-time charges on its books.
Niko said it lost US$43.9 million for the fiscal 2012 second quarter ended Sept. 30. That compared with a profit of $23.8 million a year earlier.
The company, which reports in U.S. dollars, booked $45 million of exploration and evaluation costs and a $14 million charge for the cancellation of certain stock options.
Meanwhile, oil and natural gas revenues fell to US$86.8 million from $105.8 million.
Niko produces and explores for oil and natural gas in India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Kurdistan region of Iraq, Trinidad, Pakistan and Madagascar.