Paladin Resources PLC
15 November 2004
PALADIN RESOURCES plc
("Paladin" or "the Company" or "the Group")
US$150 million Production Acquisition in Timor Sea,
offshore northwestern Australia
Paladin announces that it and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Paladin Oil & Gas
(Australia) Pty Ltd. ("Paladin Australia"), have signed a Sale and Purchase
Agreement with BHP Billiton Petroleum (North West Shelf) Pty Ltd. (BHP Billiton)
under the terms of which Paladin Australia will acquire BHP Billiton's 32.6125
per cent fixed unitised interest in the Laminaria Field and its 25 per cent
interests in the Corallina Field and the Northern Endeavour floating production,
storage and off-loading vessel ("FPSO").
The purchase price is US$150 million in cash effective as at 1 July 2004 and is
subject to adjustments for working capital and cash flow movements between 1
July 2004 and completion, which is expected to take place in early 2005. The
consideration will be satisfied from the Company's existing bank facilities.
The acquisition of these interests is expected to contribute some 6,000 barrels
of oil per day to Group production in 2005, and to contribute some 13 million
barrels of proven and probable reserves to the Group's reserve base at
completion, with the potential for material upside from a programme of infill
drilling in future years.
The Laminaria and Corallina Fields are located in the Timor Sea approximately
550 km WNW of Darwin in water depths of ca. 350-400 metres. Discovered in 1994
and 1995 respectively, the fields were developed jointly by subsea production
wells tied back to the purpose-built Northern Endeavour FPSO and brought
on-stream in late 1999. Peak production of 180,000 barrels of oil per day was
reached in early 2000, since when the fields have been in natural decline,
averaging 30,900 barrels of oil per day gross in 2004 year-to-date (net to BHP
Billiton interest 8,500 barrels of oil per day). The crude oil from both fields
is light and of high quality. Joint venture partners in the fields are Woodside
Energy Ltd. (operator) and Shell Development (Australia) Proprietary Limited.
The acquisition is subject to partners' pre-emptive rights and to the approval
of the Australian regulatory authorities.
Roy Franklin, Chief Executive of Paladin, commented:
"This is a material acquisition which meets the rigorous investment criteria
laid down by the Company and is of an ideal size as a first deal for Paladin in
Australia. There is plenty of scope for added value through further investment
in both Laminaria and Corallina; in addition, we see the opportunity for
follow-on deals in the country."
13 November 2004
Paladin Resources plc Tel: 020 7024 4500
Roy A. Franklin, Chief Executive
Cuth McDowell, Finance Director
College Hill Tel: 020 7457 2020
Jim Joseph Tel: 07880 745 808
This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange