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Canada’s Sterling Sells Black Sea Block Portion to Exxon, Petrom

Oct. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Canada’s Sterling Resources Ltd. said it agreed to sell its interest in a portion of a Black Sea block to Exxon Mobil Corp and OMV Petrom SA.

The transaction involves a consideration payment of $29.25 million to Sterling upon completion, a contingent payment of $29.25 million “upon satisfaction of certain conditions relating to a hydrocarbon discovery made on the sale portion, and a further contingent payment of $19.5 million upon first commercial production,” the company said in a statement sent to the stock exchange today.

Sterling said in May that it contracted Grup Servicii Petroliere SA to start drilling two off-shore wells in the Black Sea and that it plans to invest between $500 million to $1 billion in exploration together with Petro Ventures Europe BV and Gas Plus International BV.

Petrom, Romania’s biggest oil company and Exxon said on Feb. 22 that they discovered what may be its biggest gas find in the Black Sea after exploring the Neptun Block, located 170 kilometers (106 miles) off the Romanian shore in water about 1,000 meters deep.

Sterling said the portion sold to Exxon and Petrom is located in the southeastern margin of the 15 Midia Block, in deeper waters and covers 125,000 gross acres, or 11 percent of the total area of its Midia and Pelican concession.

Petro Ventures is also selling its interest in the portion block to Exxon and Petrom, according to the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andra Timu in Bucharest at atimu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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