Monday, January 16, 2012

Genel Buys Longford; Gulf Keystone Invites Bidders

Futher Kurdistan action and news in oil sector:

In the Genel Longford deal, the market is valuing Longford shares at about .20 to .25 cents Canadian, as Longford has finalized deal.

Gulf Keystone is offering itself up for bids by selling Kurdish interests for $350-$500 million USD.

I hold Vast Explorations(TSX:VST, OTC:VSTFF) and Westernzagros (TSX:WZR, OTC:WZGRF).  Talsiman has indicated an interest in selling their Kurdistan holdings as well, I believe.  Talisman is partnered with Westernzagros.  Genel has indicated that Niko's holdings are too expensive; Niko is partnered with Vast.

Looking for my holdings to move.

The Goombarh estimates that Vast is worth just as much as Longford if not more.  Westernzagros is worth more as it is presently producing, and on the verge of annoucing further drilling news .

Marco Goombarh

 Longford Energy Inc. Announces Kurdistan Asset Transfer to Genel Energy plc
CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Jan. 16, 2012) - Longford Energy Inc. (TSX VENTURE:LFD) ("Longford" or "the Company") is pleased to announce that it has entered into a definitive sale and purchase agreement to divest its 40 per cent undivided interest in the Chia Surkh Block in the Kurdistan region of Iraq (the "Transaction") to Genel Energy plc ("Genel") which is already a 20% interest holder in the Chia Surkh Block. As part of the Transaction the Company will receive consideration of USD $68 million, of which USD $42 million cash will be paid to Longford and $26 million will be paid directly to the Kurdistan Regional Government (the "KRG") as settlement for outstanding capacity building bonus payments, and related interest, due under the Chia Surkh Block Production Sharing Contract (the "PSC").
The Company acquired a 40% interest in the PSC in 2009. The three year first exploration term of the PSC was set to expire on June 11, 2012. Under the minimum work program obligations, Longford has an outstanding commitment for the drilling of two exploration wells, and a commitment to a minimum expenditure of USD $20 million over the next 5 months, which cannot be realistically fulfilled (financially as well as operationally) in a timely manner. This expected non-performance, and the risk of contract expiration and cancellation, was a key consideration in the Transaction.
As a part of government approval for the Transaction, Longford has entered into an assignment and novation agreement with the KRG, Genel and Petoil Petroleum and Petroleum Products International Exploration and Production Inc. amending the terms of the PSC. Pursuant to this amendment, if Longford is unable to secure the requisite shareholder approval for the Transaction by March 1, 2012, Longford has agreed to assign its interest in the Chia Surkh Block back to the KRG without compensation. As consideration for this amendment, the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Kurdistan Region has indicated to Longford that it will support the Transaction when submitted for final approval to the Regional Oil & Gas Council.
Mr. Ahmed Said, President & CEO, commented, "At the time of the acquisition of its interest in 2009, the Company expected to spend in excess of USD $100 million over three years on the exploration of the Chia Surkh Block, however due to challenging market conditions Longford was not able to fully capitalize this project to meet the commitments. Given the above circumstances, I believe the Transaction represents a superior alternative for our shareholders".
As a part of the proceeds, the Company intends to issue a one-time dividend of CDN $0.10, per share, to shareholders of record after the closing of the Transaction. The remainder of funds is expected to be utilized for other international corporate development and acquisition opportunities. The Company has started a preliminary process of identifying potential assets for acquisition, including potential opportunities in Central and West Africa. The Board of Directors strongly believes that given the current prevailing market dynamics in the junior oil & gas sector, there are exceptional opportunities, in relatively stable jurisdictions, to pursue with the potential of creating significant value for its shareholders. As a part of its restructuring, the Company expects to recruit key management personnel to assist in executing its new strategy.

Gulf Keystone sees up to $500 mln from oil stake

John Gerstenlauer, Chief Operating Officer told a Morgan Stanley investor conference that a data room on the Akri Bijeel block is to be opened next week, and that he expected 10-12 interested parties to participate.

"Gulf Keystone estimates a sale would be finalized by April, with its interest sold for $350-$500m," analysts at the investment bank said.

Gulf Keystone, which says it has found billions of barrels of oil at its Shaikan discovery, said in September it was seeking a buyer for its 20 percent interest in the Akri-Bijeel block to help finance development of other assets.

Hungary's MOL operates the Akri Bijeel block.

Jan 16 (Reuters) - UK-based oil explorer Gulf Keystone told a conference last week it expected to raise $350-$500 million from the sale of its stake in a Kurdish oil block, according to an analyst's note.

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