North Sea-focused Ithaca Energy has made a $309 million offer for Valiant Petroleum that it expects will result in the establishment of a leading mid-sized oil and gas operator in the region.
Ithaca is focused on production, appraisal and development activities in the North Sea, while Valiant has what Ithaca's management describes as "a balanced portfolio" of assets with a primary focus on the UK and Norway.
Ithaca expects that the acquisition will see a more than doubling of its current forecast for 2013 production to between 14,000 and 16,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), increasing to approximately 27,000 boepd in 2015. It would also see Ithaca's 2P reserves double to 74 million boe.
Ithaca reported that the Valiant board of directors, which is advised by Morgan Stanley, considers the terms of the acquisition to be fair and reasonable.
Ithaca Chairman Jack Lee commented in a statement:
"This proposed acquisition represents a significant step forward in the execution of Ithaca's strategy to build a highly profitable 25kboe/d North Sea oil and gas company. The combined assets of the two groups have a strong strategic fit, with the acquisition materially increasing and broadening Ithaca's producing asset base and reserves portfolio."
Valiant Chairman Kevin Lyon added:
"We are pleased to announce Ithaca's recommended offer to our shareholders… The combination with Ithaca will create a leading North Sea oil and gas operator with a diverse production and reserves asset base from which to pursue new and exciting growth opportunities."
In a separate announcement Friday Valiant said that drilling on the Timon prospect in the northern UK sector of the North Sea, on blocks 211/11b and 211/16b, has finished and the well will be plugged and abandoned after Jurassic sands there were found to be poorly developed. Valiant has a 10-percent share in the P1633 license on which Timon is located.
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