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Rex International to pursue giant oil fields exploration

CATALIST-LISTED Rex International Holdings, an oil exploration and production firm, intends to set up an internal task force to discover giant oil fields as a future drilling pipeline for the group, its chief operating officer Kristofer Skantze said at a media briefing on Tuesday.

A giant oil field consists of 500 million barrels of ultimately recoverable oil. Geoscientists also believe that the world's 932 giant oil and gas fields are clustered in 27 regions of the world, with the largest clusters in the Persian Gulf and the Western Siberian Basin, and account for 40 per cent of the world's petroleum reserves. However, the discoveries of giant fields have declined in the past three decades.

"We believe, with a high degree of confidence, that we can find, much more easily, these large oil fields," Mr Skantze said.

A large part of the group's confidence stems from its virtual drilling technology, which was developed by its founder and CEO Hans Lidgren. Mr Lidgren claims that his technology is able to discover oil with a probability of over 50 per cent, compared to the global average probability of 10-15 per cent. The technology consists of an algorithmic software which analyses seismic datasets to identify the location of liquid hydrocarbons in the ground.

The group will pursue the discovery of giant oil fields while continuing its oil exploration activities in Norway, Oman and Trinidad.

Earlier, the group had announced plans to drill 10 oil wells in 2015, of which, six will be in Norway, two in Oman and two in Trinidad.

With oil prices currently weak, the group's focus will be on oil exploration, rather than production, said Mr Lidgren. He added that the group's exploration activities will prepare his company for the future, when oil prices recover.

For its Norwegian projects, the group also plans to tap the local government's subsidy of oil and gas exploration, which refunds 78 per cent of exploration costs to companies a year after. Last month, its jointly-controlled entity, Lime Petroleum Norway AS, had secured an increase of its financing facility from 300 million Norwegian krone (S$58.2 million) to 700 million krone to fund its participation in its offshore exploration drilling programme this year.

Mr Skantze also added that the group remains debt-free and has enough cash reserves to fund activities in its current business plan through this year and next.