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Hydro to explore for heavy oil on UKCS

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, Sept. 11 -- Hydro AS has boosted its interest in heavy oil exploration on the UK Continental Shelf by agreeing to help finance exploration on the P-1207, P-1282 and P-1496 licenses in Quadrant 9.

Under a deal reached with Silverstone Energy Ltd. and Wilderness Energy UK Ltd., Hydro will pick up a 50% stake and have an option to assume operatorship in exchange for its financing.

A discovery of heavy oil was made in 1991, but it needs further appraisal to determine its commerciality.

Hydro said if viable reserves are confirmed in the area, the licenses, which lie close to the Mariner and Bressay fields (recently acquired from Chevron Corp.) could become part of a development plan.

It is experienced in heavy oil having worked on Grane in the North Sea and Peregrino off Brazil. Currently Silverstone and Wilderness each hold a 50% interest equal in the licenses.

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