OPHIR WANTS SALAMANDER: £275 MLN
Gas exploration group Ophir Energy is in talks to buy rival producer and developer Salamander Energy , as it seeks to extend its footprint into Asia.
Ophir was pursuing a deal for Salamander – which owns exploration licences in Indonesia and Thailand – as it represents an attractive way for the group to continue its planned expansion, said people familiar with the discussions. Ophir made its first step in this direction in March, when it won a licence from Myanmar for offshore exploration.
A bid could value Salamander at about £275m, according to reports at the weekend. Salamander declined to comment.
Nick Cooper, chief executive of Ophir, would not comment on the reports, which first appeared in The Sunday Times, but said: "We are excited by the exploration and market opportunities in southeast Asia."
He is familiar with Salamander's business, however, having co-founded the company and held the post of chief financial officer until he left to head Ophir more than three years ago.
Spanish energy company Cepsa, owned by Abu Dhabi investment fund IPIC, has also made an approach to Salamander, said people familiar with the discussions.
Salamander's share price closed on Friday at 80.25p, giving the company a market capitalisation of £207m.
Earlier this year, Salamander began talks to sell a stake in its offshore fields in the Gulf of Thailand to Sona Petroleum, a Malaysian bid vehicle. But the proposed deal has run into difficulty as the oil price has fallen to $86 a barrel, having stood at $115 in June.
Ophir has been seeking deals after withdrawing its approach for larger FTSE 250-rival Premier Oil in April. Its initial merger proposal was rejected by Premier's board.
Last year, Ophir sold a $1.3bn stake in its Tanzanian gasfield to Temasek, Singapore's state investment company.
Shares in Ophir, which concentrates on gas exploration in Africa with work in Equatorial Guinea and in Tanzania, have fallen 38 per cent over the past year. They closed at 202.7p on Friday, giving the company a market capitalisation of £1.2bn.
|August, 17, 12:01:00|
|August, 17, 11:55:00|
|August, 17, 11:50:00|
|August, 17, 11:45:00|
|August, 17, 11:40:00|
|August, 17, 11:35:00|
U.S. FRB - Industrial production edged up 0.1 percent in July after rising at an average pace of 0.5 percent over the previous five months. Manufacturing production increased 0.3 percent, the output of utilities moved down 0.5 percent, and, after posting five consecutive months of growth, the index for mining declined 0.3 percent. At 108.0 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 4.2 percent higher in July than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector was unchanged in July at 78.1 percent, a rate that is 1.7 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2017) average.
NPD - Preliminary production figures for July 2018 show an average daily production of 1 911 000 barrels of oil, NGL and condensate, which is an increase of 64 000 barrels per day compared to June.
GAZPROM NEFT - For the first six months of 2018 Gazprom Neft achieved revenue** growth of 24.4% year-on-year, at one trillion, 137.7 billion rubles (RUB1,137,700,000,000). The Company achieved a 49.8% year-on-year increase in adjusted EBITDA, to RUB368.2 billion. This performance reflected positive market conditions for oil and oil products, production growth at the Company’s new projects, and effective management initiatives. Net profit attributable to Gazprom Neft PJSC shareholders grew 49.6% year on year, to RUB166.4 billion. Growth in the Company’s operating cash flow, as well as the completion of key infrastructure investments at new upstream projects, delivered positive free cash flow of RUB47.5 billion for 1H 2018.
REUTERS - Front-month Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were at $72.34 per barrel at 0648 GMT, down by 12 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were down 23 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $66.81 per barrel.