Hibiscus Clears Australian FIRB's Hurdle to Take 25% Stake in Kitan Field

Malaysia-based Hibiscus Petroleum Berhad received Thursday a letter from Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) stating that it has no objections to Hibiscus' proposed acquisition of the entire equity interest in Talisman Energy's subsidiary Talisman Resources (JPDA 06-105) Pty Ltd, which has a 25 percent stake in the Kitan producing oil field in the Australia-Timor Leste Joint Petroleum Development Area (JPDA) approximately 341 miles north east of Darwin, Australia.

"The statement of no objections is valid for 12 months from the date (Aug. 21) of its letter to allow the Proposed Acquisition to be undertaken and subject to no material changes altering the Proposed Acquisition," Hibiscus said in a press release.

The Malaysian oil and gas company added that completion of the Proposed Acquisition is currently still pending, with approval being obtained from the relevant authorities of Timor-Leste and the parent company guarantees provided by Talisman Energy being returned to the Seller by the Designated Authority.

Through the acquisition, which costs $18 million, Hibiscus would become a partner in the Kitan oil field which Wood Mackenzie indicated has a reserves of around 17 million barrels as of Jan. 1. Average production at the Kitan field in 2014 is expected at around 10,000 barrels of oil per day.

Current joint venture partners in the Kitan oil field are operator Eni, which has a 40 percent stake, while Inpex and Talisman hold 35 percent and 25 percent interest, respectively.

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