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Norway, China to Participate in Iceland Dreki Oil Exploration

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Nov. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Petoro Iceland AS will team up with China’s CNOOC International Ltd. and Eykon Energy ehf to search for oil off Iceland’s northeast coast, Iceland’s National Energy Authority said.

The decision of Petoro must be approved by Norway’s parliament before the licence is awarded, the authority said in a statement on its website today. The authority expects the license to be issued by the end of the year.

Norway, through state-owned Petoro AS, in January signed agreements with Iceland as a follow up to a 1981 accord between the two nations. The company has previously taken a 25 percent interest in Iceland’s first two exploration licenses.

Iceland is opening up its waters to explorers as it recovers from the 2008 banking meltdown that plunged the nation into its worst recession in six decades. The first two licenses were awarded last year and will be operated by Faroe Petroleum Plc and Valiant Petroleum Plc. The companies will search for petroleum off the Jan Mayen islands, which are about 600 kilometers (373 miles) northeast of Iceland.

To contact the reporter on this story: Omar R. Valdimarsson in Reykjavik at valdimarsson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jonas Bergman at jbergman@bloomberg.net

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