Todd Corp sells 16% stake in Maari, Manaia oil fields for $US17.6m

Todd Corp sold its 16 percent stake in the Maari and Manaia oil fields off the Taranaki coast to ASX-listed Horizon Oil for US$17.6 million as the country's wealthiest family continues to reshape its energy portfolio.

Sydney-based Horizon signed an agreement with Todd Maari to buy the stake in the fields, subject to working capital and purchase price adjustments, effective from Dec. 31, it said in a statement. The deal is subject to ministerial approval and Overseas Investment Office sign-off and will lift Horizon's stake in the venture to 26 percent, with operator OMV New Zealand holding 69 percent and Cue Energy with a 5 percent stake.

"We would hope that the larger interest will give Horizon Oil a greater say in the ongoing management of the fields, including reservoir management to maximise oil recovery and cost control," chief executive Brent Emmett said. "Importantly, the acquisition will meaningfully increase net operating cash flow from China and New Zealand, which we expect to average US$60 million-to-US$70 million over the next five years."

The Maari field was discovered in 1983 and came on stream in 2009 and was producing 8,840 barrels of oil a day as at Nov. 2.

The Todd's exit from Maari is the latest change in the family's energy portfolio. In April, Todd Energy bought out its joint venture partner in the Kapuni onshore oil and gas field, while selling its 50 percent share in the Shell Todd Oil Services entity which managed oil and gas brought ashore from the Maui and Pohokura fields, offshore Taranaki. A month later, Todd's Nova Energy retail unit sold its LPG business to Genesis Energy.

Todd Corp didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The deal will be partly-funded by Horizon's cash reserves of US$28.4 million and partly from debt. Horizon's ASX-listed shares rose 5.7 percent to 7.4 Australian cents.

(BusinessDesk)