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NZ Oil and Gas buys interests in three Taranaki permits from Octanex

Wednesday 28th November 2012

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New Zealand Oil & Gas has agreed to acquire interests in three offshore Taranaki permits from ASX-listed Octanex for US$12.5 million plus a share of seismic costs.

The company will pay US$12.5 million for a 12.5 percent interest in PE51906 which holds the Makatu prospect and is expected to be drilled in the second half of next year. Octanex will retain 22.5 percent and operator OMV holds 65 percent, NZ Oil & Gas said in a statement.

PEP 51906 covers 1,613 square kilometres adjacent and west of the Maui field. OMV has estimated mean recoverable resource for the Matuku prospect at around 65 million barrels.

OMV is currently seeking a semi-submersible rig to drill an exploration well in the Matuku prospect before the end of 2013. If the exploration is successful and an appraisal well is drilled at Matuku, NZ Oil & Gas or Octanex can exercise an option to increase NZ Oil and Gas's interest by a further 5 percent to 17.5 percent. In Return it would pay Octanex's share of the appraisal well.

NZOG is also acquiring a 50 percent interest in PEP 53473 that covers 853 square kilometres north of Tui, paying for the interest by funding 75 percent of the seismic programme costs. The seismic evaluation has to be completed by March 2014.

It will also take 50 percent of PEP 52593, which covers 3,509 square kilometres in offshore Taranaki by meeting 60 percent of the seismic costs. The agreement is subject to regulatory approvals.

"These new acquisitions sit well within NZOG's New Zealand exploration portfolio, as they build on the knowledge base developed from NZOG's Taranaki history and provide exposure to the developing western fairway," chief executive Andrew Knight said in the statement.

Shares of NZ Oil & Gas rose 0.6 percent to 87.5 cents on the NZX and have gained 23 percent this year. The shares are rated 'outperform' based on the consensus of six recommendations compiled by Reuters.

Octanex last traded at 18.5 Australian cents on the ASX and has fallen 12 percent in the past 12 months.

BusinessDesk.co.nz

Bond Offer: Infratil Ltd, 7.2 year & 10.2 year unsecured unsubordinated bond


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