Austria's OMV has agreed to acquire Shell’s Upstream business in New Zealand for US$578 million comprising joint venture interests in Pohokura, the largest gas producing field in New Zealand, and Mauias well as related infrastructure for production, storage and transportation.
The purchase price is subject to customary adjustments and is likely to be completed in 2018.
The agreement includes Māui (83.75 per cent), Pohokura (48 per cent), and the Tank Farms. Shell has also entered into an agreement with OMV to sell its interest in (and operatorship of) the Great South Basin venture, which includes a drilling commitment currently estimated to be US$50 million.OMV is an existing partner in the acquired assets (OMV’s current stakes: 26 per cent in Pohokura and 10 per cent in Maui) and intends to assume operatorship in both joint ventures.
In parallel to the acquisition of the interests in Pohokura and Maui, OMV has also acquired Shell’s 60.98 per cent interest in the Great South Basin exploration block (GSB). The transfer of GSB is immediately effective and increased OMV’s stake in GSB to 82.93 per cent.
Rainer Seele, Chairman of the OMV Executive Board and CEO: “This acquisition is an important step to develop Australasia into a core region in line with our new strategy.”
Johann Pleininger, OMV Board Member Upstream and Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board: “This acquisition builds on our operatorship capabilities in New Zealand, adds up to 100 mn boe of recoverable resources and improves the quality of our Upstream portfolio.”
“Today’s announcement is another step towards reshaping and simplifying our company, deepening Shell’s financial resilience and competitiveness, in order to become a world-class investment,” said Maarten Wetselaar, Integrated Gas & New Energies Director.
Rob Jager, Country Chair of Shell Companies in New Zealand added: "I want to emphasise that the business will continue to be run as it is now, until the deal is complete. We have two high priorities over this transition period: to continue to run our assets in a safe and reliable manner and care for our people.”
As part of the deal, the employees of Shell Taranaki Limited and Shell New Zealand will become part of OMV New Zealand, upon completion of the deal.