Altona Energy: Arckaringa drilling programme could commence in April

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LONDON (ShareCast) - AIM-listed Australia-focused natural resources company Altona Energy (Other OTC: ANRCF - news) has provided an update on the tender and selection programme for a drilling programme at its Arckaringa programme in southern Australia.

According to Altona Energy, the programme - which would involve the drilling of up to eight boreholes -is the first stage of a larger programme of more than 30 boreholes already covered by the regulatory approvals.

Altona reported that its joint venture partner, CNOOC NEI, had completed the pre-qualification phase associated with its tender and selection process.

During the phase, some five companies were recorded as having attained pre-qualification.

The next phase of the process involves the issuing of invitations to bid to the pre-qualified bidders.

Altona's update stated that if CNOOC (HKSE: 0883.HK - news) approval of the invitations to bid was received following Chinese New Year holidays, it would be expected that the invitation to bid process could be completed in time for the successful tenderer to commence work in April (Paris: FR0004037125 - news) subject to some conditions.

Altona's share price was unchanged at 1.47p at 11:06 on Monday.

CNOOC NEI is a subsidiary of the China National Offshore Oil Corporation. It owns a 51% share of the Arckaringa Project while Altona owns a 49% stake.

MF