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Xcite Bags US$15mln For Bentley Field Data

North Sea developer Xcite Energy (LON:XEL, CVE:XEL) will strengthen its already solid financial position with the sale of technical well data from the company's Bentley Field for £10mln (US$15mln).

Once the binding agreement with the unnamed buyer is completed the cash will be added to £20.4mln the group had on the balance sheet at the end of March.

Chief executive Rupert Cole told investors: "We are very pleased to have completed this agreement, which is complementary to the recently commenced farm-out process, and further validates the quality of the information collected from our two well programmes.

"This has been done without compromising the company's intellectual property and is a good commercial outcome that provides additional working capital."

That hunt for partners to help develop the heavy oil field continues, Xcite confirmed in its quarterly update.

As is common for oil companies at this crucial phase in their development Xcite was loss-making; for the first three months of 2013 the shortfall was £1.7mln.

However, the business' economics have been enhanced by an upgrade in reserves to 198mln barrels in the proven (1P) category and 250mln barrels and 312mln barrels respectively for the 2 and 3P reserve estimates.

Finally, success in the 27th Licensing Round in the North Sea added blocks 9/4a, 9/8b and 9/9h to the portfolio and with them four identified prospects to the future exploration and appraisal programmes in the wider Bentley area.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.