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Quiet year helps Stirling change

Despite a quiet year in terms of exploration and production activities, Stirling Resources NL has undergone considerable transformation.

It has spent much effort in rationalising and consolidating assets and has shed its non-productive and marginal assets and reduced creditors to a manageable level.

Stirling chairman John Rodger believes the company is now poised to take advantage of hydrocarbon opportunities.

Stirling’s remaining exploration assets are in the Canning Basin in WA and in the Philippines.

“These are considered to be the most prospective of the portfolio of assets and most likely to attract farm-in partners to help reduce company exposure to exploration expenditure,” Mr Rodger said.

“Although a substantial interest is retained in Ashburton Minerals NL (formerly Zephyr Minerals NL), this does not constitute a core asset and will be rationalised

Stirling is now in a better position than it has been in a long time and, given the rise in the price of oil and the return of market interest in the resources sector, it is an appropriate time to purse value-adding opportunities.”

Its two main plays are in the Philippines where it holds a 72.5 per cent stake in GSEC 79, located onshore southern Cebu and a 25 per cent interest in GSEC 84, offshore Babuyan Channel, including Fuga Island.

The company has asked for an extension of the GSEC 78 licence which has a one-well commitment, while it seeks a farm-in partner.

In regard to GSEC 84, Stirling has transferred the operatorship to the PNOC-EC, a local government entity, to break an impasse and influence the owners to allow drilling access.

“Although unsuccessful to date, they are hopeful of an early breakthrough,” he said.

Recently, PNOC-EC approached the GSEC 84 partners with a proposal to fund the total cost of drilling in exchange for a greater share of the project. Negotiations are proceeding and it is hoped that final terms of an agreement can be reached shortly.

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