Puma to buy InterOil’s downstream Papua New Guinea businesses

Singapore-based Puma Energy Group Pte. has acquired the InterOil Corp. subsidiaries holding the company’s Papua New Guinea refining and petroleum products distribution businesses for $525.6 million.

The downstream businesses include the 28,000-b/d Napa Napa refinery in Port Moresby, 52 retail outlets, and 30 fuel depots, terminals, and aviation sites (OGJ, Mar. 19, 2001, p. 46).

The transaction ensures the transition of InterOil’s staff at the refinery and downstream businesses to Puma. Puma and InterOil will begin the handover of operations and transition of staff immediately.

As a condition of the deal, Puma may use the InterOil downstream brand for as long as 12 months.

Puma distributes petroleum products in more than 40 countries and operates 1,700 retail outlets, more than 60 terminals, and a refinery. It has regional hubs in Australia, South Africa, South America, and Europe.

“This investment marks an important step in the execution of our regional strategy and offers considerable synergy with our developments in Australia and the broader Pacific region,” said Pierre Eladari, Puma chief executive officer.

Jon Ozturgut, InterOil chief operating officer, said the sale arose from an unsolicited approach by Puma and a subsequent strategic review by InterOil of options on how to best allocate capital.

“The transaction immediately provides additional capital to fund our upstream and LNG business,” he said (OGJ Online, Nov. 12, 2013; Nov. 26, 2012).

InterOil’s upstream assets include Asia’s undeveloped Elk-Antelope gas field in the Gulf Province and exploration licenses covering about 16,000 sq km. InterOil in December 2013 made a billion-dollar joint venture deal with Total SA for development of its gas reserves in Elk-Antelope (OGJ Online, Dec. 6, 2013; Mar. 26, 2014).

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