Swift Completes Acquisition of New Zealand Assets
Swift Energy Company has completed the acquisition of Shell New Zealand's affiliate, Southern Petroleum (New Zealand) Exploration Limited ("Southern NZ"), for approximately US $54.4 million in cash utilizing funds available under the Company's bank line of credit. Southern NZ owns interests in four onshore producing oil and gas fields, hydrocarbon-processing facilities with excess capacity and pipelines connecting the fields and facilities to export terminals and markets.
The assets acquired include the onshore TAWN properties, which are located in the Taranaki Basin of the North Island of New Zealand, approximately 17 miles north of Swift's Rimu discovery. Swift is acquiring a 96.76% working interest in four Petroleum Mining Licenses ("PML"), collectively known as the TAWN properties, which include the Tariki Field (PML 38138), the Ahuroa Field (PML 38139), the Waihapa Field (PML 38140) and the Ngaere Field (PML 38141).
The four fields include 17 wells with net production for the first quarter 2002 expected to average at least 900-1000 barrels of oil per day, 22-23 million cubic feet of natural gas per day and 400-500 barrels per day of natural gas liquids, or a total net production of 30-32 million cubic feet equivalent per day. The net proved reserves as of November 1, 2001 are estimated to be approximately 65.0 billion cubic feet equivalent ("Bcfe") with 74% of the reserves being natural gas. The natural gas is sold under a long-term contract to Contact Energy. The oil will be sold to an affiliate of Shell NZ under a separate marketing agreement. Fiscal terms for the oil and gas reserves call for a royalty payable to the Crown at an effective royalty rate of approximately 10%. Net cash flow of the acquired interests is estimated to have been approximately $1.2 million for December 2001.
SENZ will remain operator of any future exploratory or development drilling within the TAWN license areas.
Effective with this closing, SENZ granted Shell NZ a short-term option to acquire an undivided 25% interest in Petroleum Exploration Permit 38719, which includes the Rimu/Kauri area, as well as a 25% interest in the Rimu Production Station ("Rimu Option"). Shell has already begun their due diligence of PEP 38719, and a decision by Shell is expected before the end of the first quarter. The Rimu Option is subject to numerous notifications, governmental approvals and consents. Swift does not know if Shell NZ will exercise this option.
With the closing of this acquisition, SENZ now holds interests in four petroleum mining licenses and four exploration permits in New Zealand including the permit where the Rimu and Kauri discoveries are located, which covers approximately 50,000 net acres extending both onshore and offshore on the Western coast of the northern island of New Zealand.