Sydney, 4 October (Argus) — Australian shale gas explorer Drillsearch wants to buy its smaller rival Acer Energy for A$118mn ($120.7mn) to consolidate their activities in the Cooper basin in South Australia and Queensland states.
The combination of the two companies will have proven and probable reserves of 12.5mn bl of oil equivalent, Drillsearch said today. It is forecasting to produce 10,000 b/d from its Western Flank permits in the Cooper basin by next year's second quarter. It currently produces about 800 b/d from these operations.
Drillsearch has already bought a 19.9pc stake in Acer from Singapore-based investor Republic Investment Management, which retains an 18.82pc stake. Republic Investment supports the bid and intends to sell the balance of its Acer, Drillsearch said.
UK energy firm BG owns 9.4pc of Drillsearch, with the two companies having a joint venture to explore and develop gas in the Nappamerri trough in the Cooper basin. The region has attracted renewed interest by upstream groups for its potential shale gas resources. BG operates the 8.5mn t/yr Queensland Curtis LNG venture in Queensland that has a planned 2014 start-up date.
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