Belco Petroleum Corp. Seeks to Acquire Sonneborn Oil Interests in Israel

Belco Petroleum Corp., a New York firm which last week announced an agreement for exploratory oil drilling off Israel’s shoreline, disclosed today it was negotiating an agreement to acquire assets of a firm which imports crude oil into Israel.

Belco is seeking to acquire the assets of Sonneborn Associates Petroleum Corp., of New York, the importer, for about 215,000 Belco common shares. Belco’s common shares closed on the stock market last Friday at $49.25, and the transaction would therefore involve $10.6 million.

Belco announced last week an agreement with the Storm Drilling Co. to begin offshore drilling in the Mediterranean, of the Israel coast. Belco holds 60 percent interest in 801,000 acres of leases offshore; the Israel Government holds the balance.

Acquisition of Sonneborn, Belco said, would complement its exploratory program in Israel and furnish outlets for its growing oil production either directly or through oil exchange agreements with other companies. It said Sonneborn operations “have been consistently profitable over its 12-year life.”

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