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Wessex Exploration PLC (WSX.LN), an oil and gas explorer, said Thursday it has raised GBP12.0 million through a share placing to fund its share of the costs in the Guyane Maritime Exclusive Exploration License, offshore French Guiana, where it has a 1.25% interest.
Tullow Oil PLC (TLW.LN) operates the license with a 27.5% interest and is partnered by Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA.LN) with a 45% interest, Total SA (FP.FR) with a 25% interest and Northpet Investments Ltd. with 2.5%. Northpet is jointly owned by Northern Petroleum PLC (NOP.LN) and Wessex.
Shell is expected to take over operatorship of the block in early 2012, subject to government and joint venture approval.
In early September, Tullow announced it had found oil on the license with the Zaedyus exploration well. The partners are now working on the 2012 exploration program which Wessex anticipates will include three-dimensional seismic surveys and the drilling of two wells, anticipated to start in mid-2012.
Wessex said it believes the Zaedyus discovery is "a company-changing event" and intends to remain part of the consortium to benefit from what it expects will be a positive outcome.
The company placed 240,000,000 new ordinary shares at a price of 5 pence each with institutional investors, raising around GBP12 million, before expenses.
Shares closed Wednesday at 5.3 pence.
-By Iain Packham, Dow Jones Newswires; 44-20-7842-9269; email@example.com