The Globe and Mail

Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Press release from PR Newswire

Pacific Rubiales announces farm-in on PPL237 License and Triceratops structure, onshore Papua New Guinea

Monday, April 30, 2012

Pacific Rubiales announces farm-in on PPL237 License and Triceratops structure, onshore Papua New Guinea10:28 EDT Monday, April 30, 2012 TORONTO, April 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp. (TSX: PRE; BVC: PREC; BOVESPA: PREB) announced today that it has signed a binding agreement with InterOil Corporation (NYSE: IOC; POMSoX: IOC) whereby it can acquire a 10% net participating interest in the PPL237 Petroleum Prospect License and the Triceratops structure located within PPL237, onshore in Papua New Guinea for an estimated total investment of up to approximately U.S.$345 million. The investment will be comprised of an up-front down payment of U.S.$116 million cash, funding of an agreed exploration work program, and cash payments based on the independently certified resources of the Triceratops structure. The Company's net participating interest is calculated after accounting for a 5% total project back-in right of the Government of Papua New Guinea. Ronald Pantin, Chief Executive Officer of the Company, commented: "This is an exciting opportunity for the Company to participate in a low risk, high return investment. This farm-in has been structured in a way that limits the Company's down side risk in a very prospective region. The bulk of our investment will only be made if we receive independent certification of the resource potential at the Triceratops structure and once Triceratops is in production, our share of the investment will be funded through a portion of the production Proceeds." Structure of the Farm-in The Company believes that it is acquiring an interest in high quality assets with significant exploration and future development upside through access to a large potential resource. The farm-in consists of two separate transactions: Acquisition of a 10% net participating interest in the 290 km2 PPL237 License, accomplished through a U.S.$36 million down payment and funding of 35% of the total expenditures associated with the License's exploration work program consisting of a 250 km 2D seismic program plus the drilling, testing and completion of up to four exploration wells on the block. Acquisition of a 10% net participating interest in the Triceratops structure, accomplished through a U.S.$80 million down payment and a funding of 35% of the total expenditures associated with a work program consisting of 250 km 2D seismic, the Triceratops-2 appraisal well (currently being drilled by InterOil), and the drilling, testing and completion of six additional exploration and appraisal wells planned on the structure. On completion of all the work program expenditures, an additional cash payment ("Resource Payment") based on independently certified prospect resources of the Triceratops structure will be paid by the Company out of a 70% portion of its proceeds from production. A portion of the initial up-front down payment and approximately 70% of the funded work program are deducted from the Resource Payment. InterOil will remain the operator of PPL237, but Pacific Rubiales expects to have an active technical role in the joint operations of the license. The work program is expected to be completed in the 2012 - 2014 time-frame. The Company expects to fund its share of the work program's expected capital expenditure by internally generated cash flow. Strategic Context The PPL237 License containing the Triceratops structure lies in the lowland and foothills region of Papua New Guinea some 275 km northwest of Port Moresby. InterOil is currently drilling the Triceratops-2 appraisal well which is meant to test a previously discovered gas field identified by wells drilled in 1959 and 2005. PPL237 lies along trend from the Antelope and Elk gas condensate fields containing an independently certified gross field (best case) contingent resources of 8.6 tcf gas and 129 million bbl condensate, establishing this trend to be a world class hydrocarbon province. The existing and potential resources are being actively explored for the potential to develop a commercial LNG export scheme and condensate stripping operation. Papua New Guinea is a country with considerable O&G exploration and development potential, and has an attractive and competitive fiscal regime which encourages foreign investment. Government royalties are levied at a fixed 2% and income taxes at 30%. The transaction is subject to the approval of the Papua New Guinea regulatory authority. Pacific Rubiales, a Canadian-based company and producer of natural gas and heavy crude oil, owns 100 percent of Meta Petroleum Corp., a Colombian oil operator which operates the Rubiales, Piriri and Quifa oil fields in the Llanos Basin in association with Ecopetrol, S.A., the Colombian national oil company, and 100 percent of Pacific Stratus Energy Corp. which operates the La Creciente natural gas field. The Company is focused on identifying opportunities primarily within the eastern Llanos Basin of Colombia as well as in other areas in Colombia and northern Peru. Pacific Rubiales has working interests in 43 blocks in Colombia, Peru and Guatemala. The Company's common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange and La Bolsa de Valores de Colombia and as Brazilian Depositary Receipts on Brazil's Bolsa de Valores Mercadorias e Futuros under the ticker symbols PRE, PREC, and PREB, respectively. InterOil Corporation is developing a vertically integrated energy business whose primary focus is Papua New Guinea and the surrounding region. InterOil's assets consist of petroleum licenses covering about 3.9 million acres, an oil refinery, and commercial distribution facilities, all located in Papua New Guinea. In addition, InterOil is a shareholder in a joint venture established to construct liquefaction facilities in Papua New Guinea. InterOil's common shares trade on the NYSE in US dollars. Advisories Cautionary Note Concerning Forward-Looking Statements This press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, that address activities, events or developments that the company believes, expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future (including, without limitation, statements regarding estimates and/or assumptions in respect of production, revenue, cash flow and costs, reserve and resource estimates, potential resources and reserves and the company's exploration and development plans and objectives) are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements reflect the current expectations or beliefs of the company based on information currently available to the company. Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual results of the company to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements, and even if such actual results are realized or substantially realized, there can be no assurance that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on the company. Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations include, among other things: uncertainty of estimates of capital and operating costs, production estimates and estimated economic return; the possibility that actual circumstances will differ from the estimates and assumptions; failure to establish estimated resources or reserves; fluctuations in petroleum prices and currency exchange rates; inflation; changes in equity markets; political developments in Colombia, Guatemala or Peru; changes to regulations affecting the company's activities; uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future; the uncertainties involved in interpreting drilling results and other geological data; and the other risks disclosed under the heading "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in the company's annual information form dated March 14, 2012 filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made and, except as may be required by applicable securities laws, the company disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise. Although the company believes that the assumptions inherent in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and accordingly undue reliance should not be put on such statements due to the inherent uncertainty therein. In addition, reported production levels may not be reflective of sustainable production rates and future production rates may differ materially from the production rates reflected in this press release due to, among other factors, difficulties or interruptions encountered during the production of hydrocarbons. Boe Conversion Boe may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation. A boe conversion ratio of 5.7 Mcf: 1 bbl is based on an energy equivalency conversion method primarily applicable at the burner tip and does not represent a value equivalency at the wellhead. The estimated values disclosed in this news release do not represent fair market value. The estimates of reserves and future net revenue for individual properties may not reflect the same confidence level as estimates of reserves and future net revenue for all properties, due to the effects of aggregation. Definitions  Bcf Billion cubic feet. Bcfe Billion cubic feet of natural gas equivalent. bbl Barrel of oil. tcf Trillion cubic feet tcfe Trillion cubic feet equivalent bbl/d Barrel of oil per day. boe Barrel of oil equivalent. Boe's may be misleading, particularly if used in isolation. The Colombian standard is a boe conversion ratio of 5.7 Mcf:1 bbl and is based on an energy equivalency conversion method primarily applicable at the burner tip and does not represent a value equivalency at the wellhead. boe/d Barrel of oil equivalent per day. Mbbl Thousand barrels. Mboe Thousand barrels of oil equivalent. MMbbl Million barrels. MMboe Million barrels of oil equivalent. Mcf Thousand cubic feet. WTI West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil.   SOURCE Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp.For further information: <p> Christopher (Chris) LeGallais<br/> Sr. Vice President, Investor Relations<br/> +1 (647) 295-3700 </p> <p> Carolina Escobar V<br/> Corporate Manager Investor Relations<br/> +57 (1) 628-3970 </p>