Rift shareholders approve Talisman takeover offer

Rick Wilkinson
OGJ Correspondent

MELBOURNE, July 24 -- Shareholders of Rift Oil PLC of the UK have voted in favor of a takeover offer from Talisman Energy Inc. of Calgary that will bring Talisman the Puk Puk and Douglas gas discoveries onshore Papua New Guinea and the proposed offshore floating LNG development with Flex LNG of Norway.

Shareholders holding 61.8% of Rift approved the scheme of arrangement under which Talisman will acquire all of Rift’s shares at £0.13/share. The offer values Rift at £108 million.

Rift’s directors also have approved the offer, believing it to be more attractive than a farm-in proposal received earlier from an unnamed multinational oil company to fund the drilling of as many as four wells and the acquisition of 100 km of seismic in the Papua New Guinea permits PPL 235 and 261.

Rift holds 100% of both permits. PPL 235 contains the Puk Puk and Douglas discoveries.

In June 2008 Flex LNG signed a heads of agreement with Rift to jointly develop and market the Papua New Guinea gas reserves in the forelands basin area in the country’s western region.

The plan involves transporting the gas to a floating liquefaction plant that will be stationed in the Papuan Gulf.

The project is expected to produce about 1.5 million tonnes/year of LNG and come on stream during first half 2012.

The company adds that selection of a floating LNG option enables the project to come on line 2 years earlier than a traditional onshore plant.

Rift gained a 100% interest in the Papua New Guinea permits PPL 261 and PPL 235 in an out-of-court settlement with former partner Austral Energy Ltd.

Douglas gas field was discovered in 2005 and has estimated reserves of about 800 bcf. Puk Puk-1 was drilled in 2008. It has a 48.5 m net gas pay zone containing estimated recoverable reserves of 226 bcf.

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