September 28, 2012 / 4:03 PM / 6 years ago

Niko to move rig to Indonesia, suspend quarterly dividend

Sept 28 (Reuters) - Canadian oil and gas producer Niko Resources Ltd said it will start an extensive drilling program in Indonesia, and suspend its quarterly dividend.

Niko shares were up 8 percent at C$13.45 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Friday. They later pared some gains to trade up at C$13.13.

The shares had lost more than a quarter of their value earlier this month after the company said a deep-water exploration well it drilled off the coast of Indonesia came up dry.

The company said on Friday it will begin moving a deepwater drilling rig to the Lhokseumawe block in Indonesia from Oct. 1.

Niko and its partner have drilled two wells in the Lhokseumawe block. The first was abandoned and the second did not show commercial potential.

Niko holds interests in production sharing contracts for 22 offshore exploration blocks in Indonesia, covering 116,930 square kilometers.

The company was paying a quarterly dividend of 6 Canadian cents.

Niko, which co-owns the D6 natural gas block in India with BP Plc and India’s Reliance Industries Inc, has been under pressure due to a high debt load and declining production at the block.

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