(Alliance News) - Harbour Energy PLC on Thursday said it was on track to complete the acquisition of Wintershall Dea in the fourth quarter after receiving further regulatory clearances.

Harbour is an oil and gas company operating in the UK North Sea, with additional assets in Indonesia, Vietnam, Mexico and Norway.

Shares in the company rose 4.5% to 292.30 pence in London on Thursday.

In a trading update ahead of Thursday's annual general meeting, Harbour Energy said it made "significant progress" on the various approvals required to complete the acquisition of the Wintershall Dea portfolio.

All regulatory, anti-trust and foreign direct investment approvals required for completion continue to progress as planned, including clearance received from the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Action in Germany, which satisfies the German foreign direct investment closing condition.

Analysts at Jefferies said the regulatory approvals mean the deal completion risk "appears to be significantly reducing."

It described the German approval as a "significant positive."

In December, Harbour Energy said it had reached an agreement with BASF SE and LetterOne to acquire "substantially all" of the Wintershall Dea's upstream assets for USD11.20 billion.

In the first quarter, Harbour Energy said production averaged 172 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day, down from 202 kboepd a year prior. Full year guidance of 150 to 165 kboepd was reiterated.

Operating costs averaged around USD18/boe, up from USD15/boe a year ago. The full year forecast was unchanged at around USD18/boe.

Harbour Energy said total capital expenditure in the quarter was around USD250 million. Full year guidance of around USD1.2 billion was reiterated.

Net debt fell to USD0.1 billion at end of March from USD0.2 billion at the end of 2023.

Harbour Energy said it continues to expect to be marginally free cash flow positive in 2024, and expects to generate significantly higher free cash flow next year resulting in a net cash position by year end 2025.

By Jeremy Cutler, Alliance News reporter

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