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President Energy PLC - Acquisition of Producing Assets in Argentina

RNS Number : 3930R
President Energy PLC
21 September 2017
 

21 September 2017

PRESIDENT ENERGY PLC

("President", "the Company" or "President Energy")

 

Major Acquisition of Producing Assets in Neuquén Basin, Argentina from Chevron

Puesto Flores / Estancia Vieja Concession

 

President Energy (AIM: PPC), the upstream oil and gas company with a diverse portfolio of production and exploration assets focused primarily in Argentina, is pleased to announce the acquisition of Chevron's 100% operated interest in its oil producing assets at Puesto Flores and Estancia Vieja (the "Concession") in the prolific Neuquén Basin situated in the Rio Negro Province, Argentina.

Acquisition Highlights

•     Adds in excess of 1,200 bopd net current production, currently selling at $55/barrel with a US$27 netback/barrel, taking the Company's current production in Argentina alone to over 2,000 bopd

•     Adds 5.46 MMboe of net independently assessed 2P Reserves of which 3.6 MMboe is 1P proven, taking the Company's independently assessed Reserves in Argentina to 16 MMboe of 1P and 25 MMboe of 2P

•     Total monies to be paid relating to acquisition, covered by the extension of President's existing credit facilities, together with other key terms are:

·      US$400,000 purchase price already paid to Chevron for remainder of Concession period to mid November 2017

·      US$15m to be paid to the Rio Negro Province following ratification by the Provincial Legislature of the already signed Extension Agreement for a 10-year extension of the Concession to November 2027 with a further US$7m payable through 2018

·      Under the terms of the Extension Agreement, following such ratification, President is pleased to say it will partner with Ediphsa, the Energy Company of the Province in the Concession who will hold 10% with President holding 90% as Operator

·      Under that Agreement the Province has given its approval to the work programme starting in 2018 and continuing during the extended period, which includes re-completions/workovers and new wells, aimed at materially growing production and increasing reserves 

•     Through such work program agreed with the Province there are multiple opportunities to grow production from the acquired Concession to over 3,000 boepd

•     Current Concession turnover running at annualised US$25m 

•     Concession currently generating $1m monthly positive cash flow after opex and before capex and G&A

•     Strong platform for further acquisitions in the Neuquén Basin

 

Peter Levine, Chairman and Chief Executive, commented:

"This acquisition represents a significant step into the world class Neuquén Basin, which is widely accepted as the most prolific hydrocarbon region in Argentina and one of the best in South America.

"It comes with good production pushing the Company's current Argentine production above 2,000 boepd with significant future potential growth.

"We are particularly pleased that we will be partnering with Ediphsa, the Rio Negro Province's own Energy Company, with whom we look forward to forging a strong, long term and mutually beneficial relationship.

"President's in-country team includes a number of ex-Chevron managers, engineers and field and HSE supervisors with extensive experience of the Concession.

"The acquisition provides significant forward momentum and an important platform for growth in the Neuquén Basin where, in line with a committed strategy to expand, we continue to actively consider other appropriate acquisition opportunities capable of delivering strong shareholder value.

"Whilst today's news is rightly focused on this acquisition, we continue to press ahead with our very busy work at Puesto Guardian in the Salta Province and look forward to updating shareholders at the end of this month."

 

Acquisition from Chevron of the Puesto Flores and Estancia Vieja Concession ("the Concession")

President Energy has agreed to acquire, with an effective date of 15 September 2017, the entire business and assets ("the Business") of Chevron at the Concession and become its Operator for the sum of US$400,000 which has been paid in full. Whilst Closing date is expressed to be 1 October 2017, up to such time Chevron has agreed to manage the Concession on behalf of President.  The Provincial Decree authorising the transfer of the Concession to President was signed and dated 15 September 2017.

The Concession is situated in the prolific Neuquén Basin in Argentina and has been solely owned and operated by Chevron for over 15 years. Producing in excess of 1,200 bopd, the Concession currently sells its oil at US$55/barrel which is transported by pipeline to where the buyers offtake the product.  At this price, the Business generates a current annualised turnover of approximately US$25m with positive cash flow presently running at US$1m per month after field opex but before capex and G&A.

The Business comprises the current production together with the benefit of fixed assets, stock and materials and a Concession period currently extending to mid November 2017.

In parallel with the signing of the Acquisition Agreement with Chevron, after detailed discussions with the Rio Negro Province, the Company has entered into a Concession Extension Agreement with the Rio Negro Province under which, subject to ratification by the Provincial Legislature, the Concession period will be extended for a further 10 years to November 2027, in consideration of which the Company will, upon said ratification, pay the sum of US$15m with a further sum totalling US$7m payable through 2018. In addition, President is pleased to have agreed to partner with Ediphsa, the Provincial Energy Company in the Concession which will thenceforth own a 10% interest, with President operating the Concession and holding the remaining 90%.

The Province has also approved a work programme to commence in 2018 including re-completions/workovers and drilling of development and exploration wells aimed at materially increasing production and reserves at the fields.

President's acquisition transition team has been present in the field for some time and the Company's Argentine Management has been significantly strengthened, benefiting from a number ex-Chevron experienced managers, engineers and field and HSE supervisors, five of whom were already part of President's team.

The acquisition cost of the purchase and payment to the Province has been covered by the agreed availability of an extension of to the existing credit facilities provided by IYA, a company ultimately beneficially owned by Peter Levine, the Chairman/CEO and largest shareholder (the "Loan Extension"). Recognising that loans from shareholders are not the optimum financing medium, and with a critical and growing mass of production, President is in discussions with institutional type senior debt providers with a view to them replacing and/or supplementing the Loan Extension. The Loan Extension if taken up by the Company would be secured and would bear interest at 10.5 per cent, repayable on 31 December 2021.

Going forward, President, as indicated above, plans to develop and expand production from the Concession to 3,000 bopd through the work program agreed with the Province. Furthermore the Company views this acquisition as a platform for further growth in the prolific and internationally renowned Neuquén Basin. Major companies such as Shell, Exxon, Total, BP, Chevron, Statoil, Petronas, Wintershall and Dow as well as Argentina's National Oil company, YPF, already have interests in the Basin. As larger companies consider selling off their conventional assets to concentrate on unconventional shale production, President is actively looking, where appropriate, to acquire such conventional assets and up-scale the Company into a material mid-size producer within the short to medium term.

 

Related Party Transaction

 

The Loan Extension referred to above in which Peter Levine is interested constitutes a related party transaction for the purposes of AIM Rule 13. Miles Biggins, Rob Shepherd and Jorge Dario Bongiovanni are considered to be independent directors for the purposes of AIM Rule 13 ("Independent Directors"). As such, the Independent Directors, having consulted with the Company's nominated adviser, finnCap Ltd, consider that the terms of the Loan Extension are fair and reasonable insofar as the Company's shareholders are concerned.

 

Contact:

 

President Energy PLC

Peter Levine, Chairman, Chief Executive

Bruce Martin, Chief Financial Officer

 

+44 (0) 207 016 7950

 

finnCap (Nominated Advisor & Joint Broker)

Christopher Raggett, Scott Mathieson, Emily Morris

 

 

+44 (0) 207 220 0573

BMO Capital Markets (Joint Broker)

Jeremy Low, Neil Haycock, Tom Rider

 

 

 +44 (0) 207 236 1010

 

Camarco Financial PR

Billy Clegg, Georgia Edmonds, Mercedes Valenzuela-Goldman

 

+44 (0) 203 757 4980

 

This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of article 7 of Regulation 596/2014

Notes to Editors

 

President Energy is an oil and gas company listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange (PPC.L) primarily focused in Argentina, with a diverse portfolio of operated onshore producing and exploration assets. The Company has independently assessed 1P reserves in excess of 16 MMboe and 2P reserves of more than 25 MMboe.

 

The Company has operated interests in the Puesto Flores and Estancia Vieja Concession, Rio Negro Province, in the Neuquén Basin of Argentina and in the Puesto Guardian Concession, in the Noroeste Basin in NW Argentina. The Company is focused on growing production in the near term in Argentina. Alongside this, President Energy has cash generative production assets in Louisiana, USA and further significant exploration and development opportunities through its acreage in Paraguay and Argentina.

 

President Energy's second largest shareholder is the IFC, part of the World Bank Group and is actively pursuing value accretive acquisitions of high quality production and development assets in Argentina capable of delivering positive cash flows and shareholder returns. With a strong institutional base of support and an in-country management team, President Energy gives UK investors rare access to the Argentinian growth story combined with world class standards of corporate governance, environmental and social responsibility.

 

Glossary

Bopd:barrels of oil per day

Boepd:barrels of oil equivalent per day

Mmboe: million barrels of oil equivalent

 

 

 


This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
 
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