Ofer gains consent to take over NZOG

Government oil and gas permitting agency New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals has given its consent to a takeover bid of New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZOG) by the multibillion-dollar Monaco-based Ofer Global.

Ofer Global’s bid is to gain 50% to 67.5% of NZOG and it had so far attained 38% of acceptances, but that has been pushed out to 55% after Australian company Zeta Resources indicated it would sell its 17% NZOG stake after its own NZOG takeover offer failed.

Alastair McGregor, chief executive of Ofer Global’s division  OG Oil & Gas (Singapore), said the consent from New Zealand Petroleum & Minerals was a condition of the offer, and was an "important step" for OG Oil & Gas (Singapore).

The offer is backed by NZOG’s board and the recent post-dividend payment, open until December 9 and possibly longer, is 74c a share. Despite Ofer Global’s size it is not intending to undertake deep-water test drilling off the coast of Oamaru and Invercargill, at the respective targets of Clipper and Toroa.

Its intent has always been to find large "farm-in" exploration and production partners. In a statement yesterday it said it wanted to "create an extremely attractive investment proposition".

Ofer Global’s wholly owned affiliate Omni Offshore Terminals brought the floating production, storage and off-loading vessel  Raroa to New Zealand in April 2008.It can process up to 40,000 barrels of oil a day and store up to 646,548 barrels.

Oil flows were from five oil producers linked to  Raroa and an unmanned wellhead platform within the Maari oil field.

Omni invested $US300million in the four-year Maari project, including $US18million on local contracts. Ofer Global said 21 million barrels of oil were produced during the four-year period, and estimated the joint venture partners’ revenue from oil sales was $US1.7billion ($NZ2.5billion). 

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