In 2014 we completed our transformation from a closely held company registered in the Ras Al Khaimah Free Trade Zone whose shares changed hands from time to time over the counter in Dubai to a public limited company established under the laws of England and Wales and listed on the Oslo Børs in Norway.
It was a bittersweet transition as we left our home base of nearly ten years, though we did so carrying with us the name RAK for Ras Al Khaimah. But we were excited to land in Norway, a country we know well, and where we are well known, through our shareholding in one of Norway's most iconic companies, DNO ASA. Iconic because DNO ASA was established as long ago as 1971, became the first Norwegian oil company to list on the Oslo Børs in 1981, is affectionately known as the peoples' oil company and has been a dogged survivor as so many other international oil companies, small and large, have disappeared over the decades into other entities. Indeed, DNO ASA has not only survived but has thrived in recent years as it has reached the ranks of the largest listed, independent exploration and production companies in Europe and, importantly, number two in proved and probable oil reserves. We are pleased that DNO ASA's ascent has coincided with the period in which we built a significant shareholding and engaged with management in refocusing the company and unlocking value from the existing and expanding asset base.
In addition to our 40.45 percent stake in DNO ASA, we hold a 33.33 percent stake in a long established and highly successful privately held oil and gas operator in Côte d'Ivoire, Foxtrot International LDC. This latter stake was picked up by RAK Petroleum PCL in early 2013 by acquiring Mondoil Enterprises, LLC, and its indirect eight percent interest in Block CI-27 containing that country’s largest cluster of developed and undeveloped gas fields. Foxtrot International LDC is responsible for nearly three-quarters of all the gas currently produced in the country. In 2014 a transaction was completed which raised our indirect stake in Côte d'Ivoire Block 27 to 9.1 percent and Mondoil Enterprises, LLC has added to its exploration portfolio through acquisition of stakes in two other blocks in Côte d'Ivoire by Foxtrot International LDC in 2017.
RAK Petroleum plc will of course continue to support the growth strategies of both DNO ASA and Foxtrot International LDC.
DNO ASA announced that it will pay an annual dividend of NOK 0.2 per share – a total distribution of approximately USD 50 million per year -- in two tranches, with the first tranche of the dividend paid in September 2018 and the second tranche to be paid early in 2019. RAK Petroleum plc’s shareholding in DNO ASA is entitled to receive a dividend totalling approximately USD 20 million at current exchange rates under this distribution. I am excited to enter a phase of dividend receipts from DNO ASA after several years of building that business to the strong financial and operational position it holds today.
Our objective is to continue to identify additional undervalued oil and gas assets or companies in which to build a shareholding and then initiate a deep and active engagement with management to unlock value by building on our experience, our expertise and our extensive network of private and public sector relationships.
Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors
RAK Petroleum plc