NEC has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) and exclusivity agreement to acquire substantially all assets of Strategic Petroleum Investment Consultants Enterprise, Paris Oil & Gas and Eleon Operators (collectively referred to as Spice/Paris) for the purchase price of $70m.

The acquisition includes approximately 19,700 acres of oil and gas shale in Texas, with current net after royalty production of approximately 600boe per day from the Barnett combo play.

The Barnett assets to be acquired by Norse includes a 4.1% working interest in 32,500 Barnett acres operated by EOG Resources/EnCana, who are pursuing the same emerging play with good success so far. The company said that the acquisition of the Barnett assets provides diversification of commodity, geology, and regulatory regimes.

Oivind Risberg, CEO of Norse Energy, said: “We believe that the emerging Barnett combo play represents a great opportunity for Norse Energy. As an early entrant into the most well known unconventional US onshore play, this transaction is attractive from a risk/reward perspective and will be beneficial to our shareholders. I look forward to working with Dr. Kousparis as we develop our Barnett assets.”

Dimitrios Kousparis, president and main owner of Spice/Paris, will remain a full time employee of NEC USA and will be instrumental in continuing to develop the Barnett opportunity, the company said.