Mediterranean rebukes Leni’s legal threat over sale to Genel

OIL explorer Mediterranean Oil & Gas yesterday refuted the suggestion it misrepresented the productivity of an oil block to fellow explorer Leni Gas & Oil.

Leni yesterday said it could launch legal proceedings against its former partner Mediterranean over the sale of an exploration licence off the coast of Malta.

Mediterranean sold a majority stake in the Malta Area 4 oil block to former BP chief executive Tony Hayward’s Genel Energy, just weeks after Leni sold its 10 per cent stake back to its Aim-listed former partner.

Genel Energy paid $10m (£6.3m) for a 75 per cent stake in the block and said it would fund the cost of drilling the first well on it, plus up to $30m of the second well.

Neil Ritson, chief executive of Leni, said yesterday: “Leni would not have sold its interest for $1 plus liabilities had it been aware of interest from Genel Energy or other potential farm-in partners.”

Mediterranean has now handed the matter over to its lawyers to deal directly with Leni.

Shares in Leni, which is listed on the junior stock market, rose by 2.26 per cent to 0.68p yesterday.