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Wed 3 Oct 2007 10:05 PM

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Aabar expands interests in Southeast Asia

Abu Dhabi firm raises stake in exploration block in deal with Premier Oil Philippines.

Abu Dhabi's Aabar Petroleum Investments has increased its stake in an offshore oil and gas exploration block in the Philippines, Aabar said in a statement on Wednesday.

Aabar boosted its stake to 64% from 42.5%, taking the share from Premier Oil Philippines in exchange for taking Premier's share of the cost of drilling an exploration well in the fourth quarter this year, Aabar said. Aabar subsidiary Pearl Energy will become operator of the block SC43.

"We are delighted to take over as operator... ahead of what we expect to be an exciting period of exploration drilling towards the end of the year," Chris Gibson-Robinson, Aabar's vice president for operations and new ventures (South Asia) said in the statement.

Premier Oil Philippines has a 21% participating interest in the block while the PNOC Exploration Corporation has the remaining 15%, the statement said.

Aabar produces about 20,000 barrels per day (bpd) in Indonesia and Thailand.

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