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Lasmo go-ahead

LASMO YESTERDAY said it had reached an agreement with Indonesia that allows the UK oil company to drill exploration wells in an area close to big natural gas discoveries made by Atlantic Richfield Co and BG.

Under terms of the agreement, Lasmo gets a 60 per cent stake in any oil or gas found, with 40 per cent held by Pertamina, the Indonesian state oil company. Lasmo will drill two wells in the next three years, after conducting geologic surveys.

Lasmo shares, which have fallen 12 per cent in the past three weeks as oil prices tumbled, fell 10.25p to 257p.