OSLO - Norwegian oil group DNO International and Australian exploration company Audax signed a letter of intent (LOI) on the Chorbane Exploration Permit in Tunisia, they said on Friday.

Audax -- an oil, gas, gold and base metal exploration company with operations in Australia, Italy and Tunisia -- is the operator and holds a 100 percent interest in the Chorbane Exploration Permit.

Under the LOI, DNO would earn a 50 percent interest in the Permit by paying 100 percent of the costs for the first exploration well, DNO said in a statement.

The forward work commitment for the Chorbane permit requires reprocessing of 1000 kilometres of 2D seismic processing and the drilling of one exploration well, it said. (Reporting by Aasa Christine Stoltz; Editing by David Holmes)