The assets which are the subject of the Disposal comprise Aminex's lease holding (held through Aminex USA) in respect of 714 acres of the Vinton Dome Oil Field in southwest Louisiana, USA, on which there are 36 active wells producing approximately 180 bopd net to Aminex after royalties. In addition to the leasehold interests, the transaction includes the disposal of all producing and non-producing oil and gas wells on the field, all disposal wells together with all surface and down hole equipment, well files for each well, the related office building and certain specified machinery and equipment.
Proved and Probable Reserves attributable to Aminex's Vinton Dome interests amounted to approximately 700,000 barrels of oil as at December 31, 2003. Total turnover generated by the Assets in the year ended 31 December, 2003 (being the last fiscal year for which Aminex has published audited financial information) was US$2.3 million providing a net contribution (after operating costs and capital expenditure but before depreciation) of US$0.6 million. The net book value attributed to Vinton Dome at 30 June, 2004 was US$4.8 million.
Net cash proceeds after expenses of sale will amount to approximately US$4.8 million. There will be an adjustment for a proportion of the net cash generated by Vinton Dome in the period from July 1, 2004 until completion of the transaction.
The net proceeds will be used primarily for general working capital purposes and in particular to repay outstanding creditors in respect of Nyuni, pending an outcome of the ongoing litigation with Petrom SA.
The Disposal is conditional on the approval of shareholders of Aminex and an Extraordinary General Meeting will be convened for this purpose. A circular will shortly be sent to shareholders setting out the details of the Disposal along with an explanation of the reasons for the Disposal and why the Directors believe that the Disposal is in the interests of shareholders as a whole. It is expected that the completion of the Disposal will be effected by the end of December, 2004.
The Aminex Group will continue, following the Disposal, to act as operator on many of its significant licenses in the USA and, in particular, on its Nyuni exploration program, offshore Tanzania. As previously announced, Aminex has recently signed an agreement with Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd. of Australia ('LNG') whereby Aminex will develop and procure East African gas reserves for liquefication and transport by LNG. Aminex has also entered into a major exploration agreement with North Korea (DPRK) and is evaluating new opportunities in Egypt.
Aminex continues to pursue its litigation (at present subject to proceedings in the English High Court) against Petrom for the outstanding portion of Petrom's share of the Nyuni drilling costs.
Commenting on the Disposal, Aminex Chief Executive Brian Hall said,
'The Board considers that the disposal of Vinton Dome will provide an effective and timely means by which to strengthen the continuing Aminex Group's balance sheet to enable the Group to concentrate on furthering its various projects.'
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