Harvest Natural Unsure When Petrodelta Deal Will Close


March 17 (Reuters) - Oil and gas producer Harvest Natural Resources Inc said it was not sure when the Venezuelan government would approve the sale of its remaining assets in the country.

Shares of Harvest Natural, which also reported a bigger quarterly loss, fell as much as 10 percent to $3.90 on Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.

The company is in the process of exiting Venezuela by selling its stake in Petrodelta SA - a joint venture with state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela SA - to Argentinian oil and gas company Pluspetrol for about $400 million.

Harvest Natural's Venezuelan asset is its only producing asset. The company sold a part of its assets in the country for $125 million in December.

"A lot of that's (the sale of remaining assets) dependent on the conversation between Pluspetrol and ... the ministry in terms of plans going forward for the asset," Harvest Natural Chief Executive James Edmiston said on a conference call.

Wunderlich Securities analyst Jason Wangler said Harvest Natural's shareholders were looking for a more specific comment on the closing of the second Petrodelta transaction.

The money from the first sale boosted the Houston-based company's financial position, he said. "The liquidity concern was more at the end of last year before this tranche funds came up," Wangler said.


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