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Polarcus Gains After Schlumberger Lawsuit Settlement: Oslo Mover

Polarcus Ltd., a surveyor of underwater oil and gas fields, climbed the most in more than a month in Oslo trading after settling a lawsuit with Schlumberger Ltd.’s WesternGeco unit, removing the risk of higher costs.

The company, based in Dubai, rose as much as 7.3 percent, the most since Aug. 28, and traded 5.7 percent higher at 4.176 kroner as of 11 a.m. in the Norwegian capital. That makes Polarcus the best performer on the Oslo stock exchange’s OBX index of 25 most-traded stocks. About 3.6 million shares have traded so far, 45 percent more than the average daily volume during the last three months.

The surveyor agreed to pay a license fee of $40 million to cover the period from 2013 to 2015 for WesternGeco patents related to steering marine seismic streamers and arrays, Polarcus said in a statement yesterday. The detailed terms are confidential and involves no admission of liability, the company said. The settlement will be funded using cash from operations, the surveyor said.

“A long term legal case against the world’s largest oil services company would have been costly,” Pareto Securities AS said in an e-mailed note to clients. “We believe the market discounts a much larger amount and this resolves the uncertainty completely.”

Oil and gas companies working off Africa, Norway and South America have increased exploration spending to meet higher energy demand. With established fields maturing and new resources harder to find and develop, Polarcus has joined Petroleum Geo-Services ASA and TGS Nopec Geophysical ASA, Norway’s largest seismic companies, in betting on growing demand for underwater maps.

Polarcus has declined 38 percent during the last 12 months, giving the company a market value of 2.1 billion kroner ($352 million.)

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