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JX Nippon Buys Stake in North Sea License From Serica Energy

JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp., Japan’s largest refiner, bought an 85 percent stake in a North Sea exploration block from Serica Energy Plc.

JX Nippon will pay $250,000 to acquire the interest in the U.K. Central North Sea Block 22/19c, according to a statement today from London-based Serica. It will also carry all future costs associated with the license including drilling expenses.

“Although not a commitment in the current license term, such wells can be physically challenging if drilled and so we have prudently managed that risk by exchanging equity for a carry on the well cost,” said Tony Craven Walker, Serica’s interim chief executive officer.

Serica had previously drilled Block 22/19c with its costs carried by Premier Oil Plc. Following a lack of success, Premier gave up its interest in the license, which was retained by Serica.

“It is the prospectivity of deeper, older strata which is now being pursued,” Serica said in today’s statement.

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