Dubai: RAK Petroleum Public Company Limited, the oil and gas exploration and production firm, has taken a 100 per cent stake in an operatorship of the Saleh field off the coast of Ras Al Khaimah in exchange for 100 million shares in the RAK Education Company (EDRAK).

RAK Petroleum already holds a 40 per cent interest in the currently non-producing gas and condensate field. It signed the agreement with Ras Al Khaimah Gas Commission (Rakgas).

The signing yesterday was attended by Shaikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of RAK Petroleum, and Ruurd Sybren Abma, Chief Operating Officer of Rakgas. "We are pleased to have RAK Petroleum strengthen its commitment to development of the offshore oil and gas sector of Ras Al Khaimah," Shaikh Saud said in a statement.

Expanded presence

"This exchange agreement with Rakgas and the Government of Ras Al Khaimah provides us with an expanded presence in an area where we have considerable experience and heritage, while refocusing RAK Petroleum's balance sheet on our core business," Mossavar-Rahmani said.

Outlining the redevelopment plans for the field, Mossavar-Rahmani said RAK Petroleum had recently completed a fresh look at the Saleh field through new reservoir studies and was "encouraged to revisit the opportunities for rejuvenation" of the field.

"Advances in technology as well as in oil and gas prices have regenerated our interest in the remaining potential of this field," he said.

The Saleh field was discovered by Union Oil in 1964 but an appraisal well drilled by Gulf Oil Company in 1982 led to the development of the field.