AUSTRALIA listed Austin Exploration has sold a 50 per cent stake of five wells in Mississippi for A$1.21 million as part of a plan to divest non-core assets in Mississippi and Texas.

“At both of these properties Austin has had limited control over operational expenditures and, in the current low oil price environment, the company considers that complete control over well and lease operating expenditures is paramount,” Austin said in an announcement.

Austin did not name the buyer, but added that the sale had been completed through its networks of industry contacts, avoiding any fees associated with the transaction.

Following the sale Austin has repaid its US$350,000 debt to ANB Bank and strengthened its cash position, it said in an announcement.

Austin chief operating officer Tim Hart said the sale was the culmination of its non-core asset sale strategy, which he said had been executed in an orderly and methodical manner.

“Through this strategy, and after a sustained effort to streamline operations and lower our cost base, the company is now well positioned with a strong balance sheet and world class oil and gas assets in Colorado and Kentucky that are owned and operated by Austin,” he said.

Austin had also announced a rights issue to raise over A$1.7 million, which Mr Hart said would provide it with financial flexibility and certainty to move ahead with its drilling and development program, “particularly at the flagship Pathfinder project where we see significant unlocked value.”