Dana gets the go ahead for Dutch project

Marion Dakers
DANA Petroleum got the green light from Dutch authorities for its Medway well development in the North Sea yesterday.

The oil explorer, which is currently fending off takeover advances from Korea National Oil Company (KNOC), said the new well is expected to add an extra 4,100 barrels of oil per day to Dana’s total by 2012, with the reservoir expected to last until 2020.

The Medway oil and gas project will extend the life of the De Ruyter oil field off the Dutch coast, which has been 54 per cent owned by Dana since it took over Petro Canada Netherlands in June.

Dana’s chief executive Tom Cross said: “Dana’s experienced operational team in the Netherlands has achieved acceleration of the Medway project and plans are well-advanced to deliver first production in the fourth quarter of 2011.”

Cross has rejected several takeover offers from KNOC in recent months, the largest valuing the firm at £1.8bn. The South Korean firm has now taken its £18-a-share bid straight to investors, and claims 49 per cent of shareholders are in favour of a deal.

Richard Buxton, Schroder’s head of UK equity, sold around 11.5m shares in Dana on Monday, reducing his stake from 13 per cent to 2.7 per cent.

Buxton has previously voiced his support for KNOC’s bid, but was unavailable for comment yesterday.

Deutsche Bank, UBS and Credit Suisse all sold shares in Dana in the past week, the company reported to the stock market yesterday.

Shares closed flat at £17.91 yesterday.