AWE, NZOG, PPP to Acquire Mitsui 35% Stake in Tui Area Oil Project

Australia-based AWE Limited (AWE) announced Thursday that the company, New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZOG) and Pan Pacific Petroleum (PPP), via their subsidiaries, will increase their respective interests in the Tui Area Oil Project in Petroleum Mining Permit (PMP) 38158 offshore Taranaki Basin, New Zealand following Mitsui’s decision to divest its 35 percent share of the project.

AWE and NZOG raise their stakes in the joint venture to 57.5 percent and 27.5 percent respectively, after each acquired a 15 percent interest from Mitsui for $6.429 million. PPP purchased the remaining 5 percent interest that Mitsui held for $2.143 million. The sale is subject to approval by the New Zealand Minister of Energy and Resources and a Mitsui affiliate will remain as oil marketing agent for the Tui project.

As part of the purchase agreement, Mitsui’s interest in the Oi exploration well will be assigned to AWE and NZOG. The Oi well is scheduled to be drilled before the end of 2013.

“Mitsui’s decision to divest from the Tui project presented a great opportunity to the other Joint Venture partners, and we quickly reached a decision to move ahead with a purchase agreement," AWE Managing Director Bruce Clement said in a press release.

“Tui has performed exceptionally well over the years. Although a relatively mature asset, there is significant potential for the Pateke-4H infield development well and the Oi exploration well to add further production upside and extend the life of the project."

“Both these wells are planned to be drilled over the December/January period,” Clement said, “and we will have a better understanding of the potential upside in early 2014.” Clement added, “Our relationship with Mitsui has been exceptional, and we will continue to market Tui oil through a Mitsui affiliate for the foreseeable future.”

Production at the Tui Area Oil Project commenced in 2007.

The Joint Venture partners in PMP 38158 are:

  • AWE Limited (via subsidiaries) (Operator): 42.5 percent
  • Mitsui E&P Australia Pty Ltd: 35.0 percent
  • New Zealand Oil & Gas (via subsidiaries): 12.5 percent
  • Pan Pacific Petroleum (via subsidiaries): 10.0 percent

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