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Newsletter - Exploration financing – even more secure?

Lenders who provide financing of oil companies’ exploration activities on the Norwegian continental shelf pursuant to so called exploration financing facilities (EFFs) do so on the basis of a security assignment over the borrower’s claim against the Norwegian State for refund of the tax value (i.e 78%) of such exploration costs.

Despite of such security, it is clear that lenders are not only taking a risk on the Norwegian State, but are exposed to certain other key risks. 

So far, the main risks have believed to be:
(i) the risk of the Norwegian State not approving all costs claimed to be eligible by the borrower for refund;
(ii) Norwegian State declaring setoff against the borrower's claims for refund against tax claims resulting from previous tax assessments being reversed; or
(iii) Norwegian State declaring setoff against the borrower's claims for refund against other liabilities to the Norwegian State.

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