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Niko Resources Down on Exit of India Field: Calgary Mover

May 22 (Bloomberg) -- Niko Resources Ltd., the Canadian oil and natural-gas producer that has lost a third of its market value this year, fell after the company said it was abandoning its stake in an oil field off the coast of India.

Niko fell 1.4 percent to C$33.58 at the close in Toronto. Earlier the shares declined 18 percent, the most since Oct. 26, 1995. The shares have fallen 30 percent this year.

“In this latest geological survey, the risks we saw were too high,” Niko Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Edward Sampson said in a telephone interview today. The Indian government’s price controls on oil and gas and the permitting process also prompted Calgary-based Niko to abandon its interest in the D4 block, Sampson said.

The company had a 15 percent interest in the exploration block in the Orissa Basin offshore India, according to Niko’s website. Mumbai-based Reliance Industries Ltd., the field’s operator, had a 55 percent stake and is also abandoning the block, according to the statement. BP Plc owned the remaining 30 percent, Sampson said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Benjamin Haas in New York at bhaas7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan Warren at susanwarren@bloomberg.net

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