UPDATE 1-Bellatrix forms C$300 mln partnership with South Korean company

Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:40pm EST
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* Co declines to name South Korean partner

* CFO says receiving interest from Asian companies on various projects

* Raises capex, production forecast for the year

* Shares rise as much as 14 pct

By Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay

Jan 22 (Reuters) - Bellatrix Exploration Ltd said it will form a C$300 million ($302 million) joint venture with an unidentified South Korean company to develop its shale deposits in west-central Alberta, making it the latest Canadian oil and natural gas producer to partner an Asian firm.

Shares of the Calgary, Alberta-based company rose as much as 14 percent to a nine-month high of C$4.70 on Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Bellatrix did not name its South Korean partner, but Chief Financial Officer Edward Brown told Reuters that the company "represents 80 percent of the money that Korea invests outside the country."

"We have a lot of interest from Asian companies to partner with us on various projects," Brown said. "This is our first step with an Asian counterparty."   Continued...