Salamander to sell down Thai stakes

Salamander: the UK company has signed a non-binding agreement which could see it offload a 40% stake in two Thai concessions

Asia-focused Salamander Energy has reached a deal which could see it sell off a 40% stake in two concessions in Thailand to Malaysia-listed Sona Petroleum.

Salamander signed a non-binding heads of agreement with Sona which could see the latter pick up a 40% interest in the B8/38 and G4/50 concessions for a total cash consideration of $280 million.

Under the terms of the agreement, Sona would pay Salamander $250 million for a 40% interest in B8/38, which contains the Bualuang field, and a further $30 million for the 40% stake in the surrounding G4/50 concession.

The agreement would also see Salamander carry Sona’s cost associated with two exploration wells on G4/50, up to an agreed cap, and Sona will make contingent cash payment of up to $15 million in the event of a commercial discovery on the concession.

"Our Bualuang field and surrounding acreage has proved to be a highly successful growth asset for Salamander,” chief executive James Menzies said. 

“The group's hub strategy is designed to bring assets to phased maturity, releasing value in turn and providing for both re-investment in early stage development and capital return.  The price achieved reflects the quality of Bualuang barrels, and the prospectivity of the G4/50 acreage which surrounds the Bualuang field.”

The Bualuang field is estimated to hold 32.7 million barrels of proved plus probable reserves and gross best estimate contingent resources of 32.3 million barrels.

The field produced about 13,000 barrels per day of oil in April this year and Salamander is currently planning the next phase of development for Bualuang.

It has already drawn up conceptual design plans for the Bualuang Charlie development which it is planning to have in production in 2016.

The deal with Sona remains subject to certain approvals and agreements but Salamander hopes to close the deal during the current quarter.

Salamander previously stated that it was looking to divest certain assets and also revealed that it had received a number of preliminary and conditional expressions of interest in relation to an offer for the company.

It said the formal sales process for the sale of the company was still ongoing and was continuing in parallel with the asset sale to Sona.

Upstream reported last week that Thailand’s state-run oil company PTTEP has emerged as the front runner to acquire the London-listed player.

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