Beach exits Egypt, enters Cooper basin in Queensland

Beach Energy Ltd., Adelaide, has signed an agreement for the sale of its Egyptian subsidiary to UK-based Rockhopper Exploration PLC. The assets include 22% interest in the Abu Sennan concession.

Beach will receive $22 million made up of $11.5 million in cash and the balance in Rockhopper shares capped at no more than 5% of Rockhopper’s issued capital. Completion of the deal is scheduled for early 2016.

Rockhopper’s purchase is in line with its moves to expand in the greater Mediterranean and North African region. The company also holds interests in the Falkland Islands.

In Australia, Beach has acquired 20% interest in the prospective Taipan block (ATP 1056) in the Queensland southeastern flank of the Cooper basin from AGL Energy for $1.15 million (Aus.).

The deal is subject to several conditions, including that Beach becomes operator of the 1056 joint venture, which comprises seven other small Australian companies with interests varying from 3% to 15%.

On completion of the deal, Beach will also have the right to earn a further 20% by satisfying farm-in obligations assumed from AGL.

ATP1056 adjoins the Queensland Cooper-Eromanga oil fields at Jackson and Naccowlah. Eight wells have been drilled in two previous drilling campaigns in 2011 and 2013, and two small oil Hutton Sandstone discoveries were made at Andromedae and Andromedae South. Both are on extended production test.

Beach says the permit has only been lightly explored and there are still about 60 structural leads within the permit area.

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