PERTH, Australia -- Beach Petroleum has sold a further 10% equity share in the Basker-Manta-Gummy (BMG) joint venture in Bass Strait to Sojitz Energy Australia Pty Ltd., a wholly-owned Australian incorporated company of Sojitz Corp. of Japan, for a total of $A123 million ($115 million).
The sale is similar to an earlier deal, effective on June 1 last year, in which Beach sold a 10% interest in the BMG project. The agreement with Sojitz remains subject to the usual government approvals, the pre-emptive right of the other joint venture participants, and other typical conditions.
Beach Petroleum will retain a 30% equity share in the BMG project.
The effective date of the transaction is Dec. 31, 2007.
The BMG project was developed initially to produce oil from the Basker and Manta fields, based on initial proved and probable (2P) reserves estimates of about 23 MMbbl. But new wells drilled in 2006 expanded the reserves base with 2P oil reserves standing at nearly 40MMbbl (as at June 30, 2007), while an associated increase in the natural gas resource has nearly quadrupled estimates of the gas/condensate resource.
Up to six new wells are scheduled to be drilled in the fields, commencing with Basker-6 in March 2008.
On completion, the participants in the Basker Manta Gummy joint venture will be operator Anzon Australia Ltd., 40%; Beach Petroleum Ltd., 30%; Itochu Corp. (CIECO Exploration and Production Australia Pty Ltd.), 20%; and Sojitz Corp. (Sojitz Energy Australia Pty Ltd), 10%.