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WHL Energy has initial approval from the Seychelles regulatory authority PetroSeychelles regarding its exploration interests.

Australian ASX-listed energy company WHL Energy received initial approval regarding an extension to the existing Amended and Restated Petroleum Agreement (ARPA) over WHL Energy’s Seychelles exploration interests.

The extension requires WHL Energy to secure a farmin partner by 31 January 2014 and is consistent with the amended terms offered earlier in the year to a potential farmin party including extending the Exploration Period 2 by a period of 18 months, up to 31 July 2015. This in turn will result in a deferral on the next relinquishment from the current 17,345 square kilometres until the same date.

The work program for Exploration Period 2 will be formally amended replacing the outstanding 2D seismic commitment of 2,000 line kilometres with the acquisition of a minimum of 1,000 square kilometres of 3D seismic. The drilling program commitment has been confirmed as a single exploration well rather than the original two well commitment.

The previous 5% rate of Royalty referred has been amended to 8%, although it is has been agreed that the rate may be reduced to the original 5% in the event of a marginal discovery. The economic impact of the marginal increase in royalty is more than offset by the adoption of the 2013 Model Petroleum Agreement terms for the Petroleum Income Tax and Petroleum Additional Profits Tax.

WHL Energy is pleased with the outcome as certainty was required prior to the next phase in the farmin process,” says David Rowbottam, WHL Energy managing director. “WHL Energy is in the process of finalising the engagement of an appropriate advisor to assist with the commercial aspects of the farmout in London during early November 2013 with the objective of securing a partner within the specified period.

“Once again we appreciate the ongoing support of PetroSeychelles and the Republic of Seychelles Government and we look forward to reporting further positive developments as they progress.”

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