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Thailand's PTTEP to acquire Coogee Resources

Rick Wilkinson
OGJ Correspondent

MELBOURNE, Dec. 30 -- Thailand's state oil company PTT Exploration & Production (PTTEP) has acquired unlisted oil and gas company Coogee Resources Ltd., Perth, for $248.4 million (Aus.).

Coogee was earlier valued at $700-800 million during an aborted attempt to float it in late 2006.

The deal gives PTTEP 100% control of the Montara oil development project in the Timor Sea as well as a 70.94% interest and operatorship of nearby producing Jabiru and Challis oil fields. The Montara development involves Montara, Skua, Swift, and Swallow fields.

Total remaining proved reserves for all Coogee's projects is estimated at 32 million bbl of oil, while the addition of probable reserves increases the total to 45 million bbl.

Coogee had also initiated a feasibility study into the potential of building a floating gas-to-liquids methanol production facility for offshore stranded gas as part of a bid to commercialize some 834 bcf of contingent gas resources in its offshore Timor Sea acreage.

PTTEP also will gain interests in surrounding Ashmore Cartier region exploration permits AC/L7, AC/P34, AC/P32, AC/P40, and retention lease AC/RL7.

Coogee has been for sale since mid-October 2008, a move that stemmed from unsolicited interest for the entire company after its second largest shareholder (associated with Babcock & Brown) decided to sell the 35% stake in Coogee that it acquired in August 2007 for $232 million (US).

Added to the decision to sell is the current global financial turmoil and the fact that there has been a major cost blow-out on the Montara project, which has pushed oil production back from December to April-May 2009.

The company was originally spun off from parent Coogee Chemicals in the early 2000s. The company's founder and CEO is Gordon Martin, whose family owned a 60% stake in Coogee Resources.


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