Vermilion to buy gas producing fields in northwest Germany

A subsidiary of Vermilion Energy Inc., Calgary, will acquire GDF Suez EUP Deutschland GMBH’s 25% interest in an exploration license that contains four producing natural gas fields in northwestern Germany for $170 million.

The deal is subject to approvals and adjustments, is due to close by the end of 2013, and will be effective as of Jan. 1, 2013.

The ExxonMobil-operated license was formed in 1956. Other partners are Wintershall Holding GMBH and the ExxonMobil-Shell joint venture BEB Erdgas und Erdol GMBH.

Vermilion will also receive a 0.4% equity interest in Ergas Munster GMBH, a joint venture created in 1959 to jointly transport, process, and market gas in northwest Germany. The EGM partners include ExxonMobil, Wintershall, BEB, RWE Dea AG, and GDF Suez.

The transportation interest will allow for Vermilion’s proportionate share of produced volumes to be processed, blended, and transported to designated gas consumers through the EGM network of 2,000 km of pipeline.

The four gas fields span 11 production licenses, are expected to average 18 MMcfd net in 2013, and have consultant-estimated proved plus probable reserves of 10.1 million boe net as of yearend 2013.

The active wells produce from the Permian Zechstein Stassfurt carbonate and the Triassic Middle Bunter sandstone. The acquired assets have a relatively low effective decline rate estimated at 16%/year and a reserve life index of 9.2 years. The exploration and production licenses total 204,000 gross acres, of which 85% is in the exploration license.

Vermilion said Germany’s E&P industry produces an estimated 165,000 b/d of oil and liquids and 1.1 bcfd of dry natural gas and is characterized by a limited number of well-financed intermediate-sized producers. The assets being acquired are 300 km east of Vermilion’s Netherlands fields and share similar subsurface characteristics.

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