Press

Major Acquisition of Producing Assets in Neuquén Basin, Argentina from Chevron


President Energy (AIM: PPC), the upstream oil and gas company with a diverse portfolio of production and exploration assets focused primarily in Argentina, is pleased to announce the acquisition of Chevron's 100% operated interest in its oil producing assets at Puesto Flores and Estancia Vieja in the prolific Neuquén Basin situated in the Rio Negro Province, Argentina.

Acquisition Highlights

•     Adds in excess of 1,200 bopd net current production, currently selling at $55/barrel with a US$27 netback/barrel, taking the Company's current production in Argentina alone to over 2,000 bopd

•     Adds 5.46 MMboe of net independently assessed 2P Reserves of which 3.6 MMboe is 1P proven, taking the Company's independently assessed Reserves in Argentina to 16 MMboe of 1P and 25 MMboe of 2P

•     Total monies to be paid relating to acquisition, covered by the extension of President's existing credit facilities, together with other key terms are:

·      US$400,000 purchase price already paid to Chevron for remainder of Concession period to mid November 2017

·      US$15m to be paid to the Rio Negro Province following ratification by the Provincial Legislature of the already signed Extension Agreement for a 10-year extension of the Concession to November 2027 with a further US$7m payable through 2018

·      Under the terms of the Extension Agreement, following such ratification, President is pleased to say it will partner with Ediphsa, the Energy Company of the Province in the Concession who will hold 10% with President holding 90% as Operator

·      Under that Agreement the Province has given its approval to the work programme starting in 2018 and continuing during the extended period, which includes re-completions/workovers and new wells, aimed at materially growing production and increasing reserves 

•     Through such work program agreed with the Province there are multiple opportunities to grow production from the acquired Concession to over 3,000 boepd

•     Current Concession turnover running at annualised US$25m 

•     Concession currently generating $1m monthly positive cash flow after opex and before capex and G&A

•     Strong platform for further acquisitions in the Neuquén Basin

Peter Levine, Chairman and Chief Executive, commented:

"This acquisition represents a significant step into the world class Neuquén Basin, which is widely accepted as the most prolific hydrocarbon region in Argentina and one of the best in South America.

"It comes with good production pushing the Company's current Argentine production above 2,000 boepd with significant future potential growth.

"We are particularly pleased that we will be partnering with Ediphsa, the Rio Negro Province's own Energy Company, with whom we look forward to forging a strong, long term and mutually beneficial relationship.

"President's in-country team includes a number of ex-Chevron managers, engineers and field and HSE supervisors with extensive experience of the Concession.

"The acquisition provides significant forward momentum and an important platform for growth in the Neuquén Basin where, in line with a committed strategy to expand, we continue to actively consider other appropriate acquisition opportunities capable of delivering strong shareholder value.

"Whilst today's news is rightly focused on this acquisition, we continue to press ahead with our very busy work at Puesto Guardian in the Salta Province and look forward to updating shareholders at the end of this month."

Acquisition from Chevron of the Puesto Flores and Estancia Vieja Concession

President Energy has agreed to acquire, with an effective date of 15 September 2017, the entire business and assets ("the Business") of Chevron at the Concession and become its Operator for the sum of US$400,000 which has been paid in full. Whilst Closing date is expressed to be 1 October 2017, up to such time Chevron has agreed to manage the Concession on behalf of President.  The Provincial Decree authorising the transfer of the Concession to President was signed and dated 15 September 2017.

The Concession is situated in the prolific Neuquén Basin in Argentina and has been solely owned and operated by Chevron for over 15 years. Producing in excess of 1,200 bopd, the Concession currently sells its oil at US$55/barrel which is transported by pipeline to where the buyers offtake the product.  At this price, the Business generates a current annualised turnover of approximately US$25m with positive cash flow presently running at US$1m per month after field opex but before capex and G&A.

The Business comprises the current production together with the benefit of fixed assets, stock and materials and a Concession period currently extending to mid November 2017.

In parallel with the signing of the Acquisition Agreement with Chevron, after detailed discussions with the Rio Negro Province, the Company has entered into a Concession Extension Agreement with the Rio Negro Province under which, subject to ratification by the Provincial Legislature, the Concession period will be extended for a further 10 years to November 2027, in consideration of which the Company will, upon said ratification, pay the sum of US$15m with a further sum totalling US$7m payable through 2018. In addition, President is pleased to have agreed to partner with Ediphsa, the Provincial Energy Company in the Concession which will thenceforth own a 10% interest, with President operating the Concession and holding the remaining 90%.

The Province has also approved a work programme to commence in 2018 including re-completions/workovers and drilling of development and exploration wells aimed at materially increasing production and reserves at the fields.

President's acquisition transition team has been present in the field for some time and the Company's Argentine Management has been significantly strengthened, benefiting from a number ex-Chevron experienced managers, engineers and field and HSE supervisors, five of whom were already part of President's team.

The acquisition cost of the purchase and payment to the Province has been covered by the agreed availability of an extension of to the existing credit facilities provided by IYA, a company ultimately beneficially owned by Peter Levine, the Chairman/CEO and largest shareholder. Recognising that loans from shareholders are not the optimum financing medium, and with a critical and growing mass of production, President is in discussions with institutional type senior debt providers with a view to them replacing and/or supplementing the Loan Extension. The Loan Extension if taken up by the Company would be secured and would bear interest at 10.5 per cent, repayable on 31 December 2021.

Going forward, President, as indicated above, plans to develop and expand production from the Concession to 3,000 bopd through the work program agreed with the Province. Furthermore the Company views this acquisition as a platform for further growth in the prolific and internationally renowned Neuquén Basin. Major companies such as Shell, Exxon, Total, BP, Chevron, Statoil, Petronas, Wintershall and Dow as well as Argentina's National Oil company, YPF, already have interests in the Basin. As larger companies consider selling off their conventional assets to concentrate on unconventional shale production, President is actively looking, where appropriate, to acquire such conventional assets and up-scale the Company into a material mid-size producer within the short to medium term.


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ChevronNeuquen BasinArgentinaPresident EnergyAcquisitionPuesto FloresEstancia ViejaRio Negro

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