Acquisition of Blocks Bolsters Andes Energia Argentinean Asset Base

Andes Energia has exercised its option to acquire a 20% interest in the Corralera and Mata Mora blocks in the province of Neuquen, the major gas producing basin in Argentina.

This will significantly bolster Andes Energia's oil and gas assets, as it extends its reach into Argentina's most prolific gas basin, Neuquen, where the Company already has acreage in the Rio Negro Province. Andes now has interests in nine oil and gas license blocks in Argentina whilst it also holds an option to acquire a 50% interest in a producing oil field in the province of Mendoza.

Since re-admission to AiM in October, Andes Energia has acquired a controlling interest in Hidroelectrica Ameghino S.A, a hydro power plant. The Company has also extended its option to acquire the remaining 50% of SODEMSA, which has a 51% controlling interest in EDEMSA, the main electricity distribution company in the province of Mendoza.

Earlier this month Andes secured a US$5 million loan facility and also raised approximately £9.1 million (US$18.5 million) via a placing. The new monies will be used to part fund the acquisition of the remaining 50% indirect interest in SODEMSA for approximately US$30 million.

Commenting on the exercise of the option, Chief Executive Officer Luis Alvarez Poli said, "We are delighted to further boost our exposure to the Neuquen province in blocks with tested production and look forward to further strengthening our portfolio in the coming months. The focus at Andes Energia remains firmly on extracting value across the Argentine energy chain."