Coogee Resources Considering IPO

Perth-based private energy company Coogee Resources is considering a $A250 million ($US186.49 million) initial public offering (IPO) to help fund a new $A500 million ($US372.98 million) oil and gas development in the Timor Sea.

Coogee already produces oil from two of its operations in the Timor Sea and hopes to develop another oil field by 2008.

The company has been drilling at the Montara/Skua oil field and has recently made a second discovery which intersected a 25 meter oil column.

Coogee chief executive Peter Hood said the latest discovery, Swallow, was very good and had the potential to contain up to two million barrels of recoverable oil, hosting production rates of more than 5,000 barrels of oil per day.

The new discoveries sit between the two already producing assets, about 20km apart, Mr. Hood said, and could be tied back to the planned Montara project.

"They are easy to tie back to the main development," he said.

"We are now in a position, with approximately 38 million barrels to go ahead with that field development and basically that will be six wells in those four fields."

Mr. Hood said the current production was sold to a trader which then on-sold it to consumers and he was considering this, along with other options, for the new production.

"We've got two years to build this so that is an exercise that will take place at a later date," he said.

"It's all high-quality oil and will easily find a place in the market."

Once the new fields are developed, production will start at 40,000 barrels per day and naturally decline over the 12 year project life.

Mr. Hood said at current oil prices the project would generate about $US500 million in the first year.

The company is now looking at its options to get the project up and running and is considering either an IPO with debt, an IPO with a joint venture or debt with a joint venture.

"We are putting the information together, certifying reserves after these discoveries and re-estimating the capital," he said.

A decision on whether or not to proceed with an IPO would need to be made before the third quarter this year and it is now being advised by Azure Capital.

"We are leaning towards an IPO," Mr. Hood said.

If Coogee did decide to list it would be in the top five of the oil and gas producers in Australia, he said, and be similar in size to ROC Oil Company.

The company recently appointed former Woodside Petroleum chief executive John Akehurst as a non-executive director.