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VAALCO Energy Confirms Acquisition of Svenska Petroleum


VAALCO Energy has entered into a sales and purchase agreement ('SPA') to acquire Svenska Petroleum Exploration, a privately-held exploration and production company based in Stockholm, Sweden. Svenska’s primary asset is a 27.39% non-operated working interest in the deepwater producing Baobab field in Block CI-40, offshore Cote d’Ivoire in West Africa.

The gross consideration for the Acquisition is $66.5 million, subject to customary closing adjustments, with an effective date of October 1, 2023. The gross purchase price will be partially funded by a pre-closing dividend of cash on Svenska’s balance sheet to the Seller with the balance funded by a portion of VAALCO’s cash-on-hand with no issuance of debt or equity. Closing of the Acquisition is expected in the second quarter of 2024, with ultimate timing dependent on final receipt of all necessary approvals. VAALCO currently estimates that the net cash due at closing will be in the range of approximately $30 to $40 million, dependent on timing.

Transaction Highlights:

  • Immediately accretive to shareholders on key metrics:
    • Currently producing approximately 4,500 working interest barrels of oil equivalent per day (99% oil);
    • Includes estimated 1P WI CPR reserves as of October 1, 2023, of 13.0 million barrels of oil equivalent (99% oil) and total 2P WI CPR reserves at October 1, 2023, of 21.7 million MMBOE (97% oil);1
    • Net purchase price to be fully funded by a portion of cash on hand with no issuance of debt or equity;
  • Strategically expands West African focus area with a sizeable producing asset that has significant upside potential and considerable future development opportunities in Cote d’Ivoire, a well-established and investment-friendly country:
    • Primary asset operated by Canadian Natural Resources Limited ('CNRL'), a large, experienced and well-respected E&P based in Calgary, Canada;
    • Strong subsurface and geological understanding of the area enhances upside potential of the asset base;
    • Asset has been significantly de-risked as a result of development drilling (24 production and five injection wells) since discovery in 2001, with production to date of approximately 150 MMBOE on a gross basis;
    • Field currently includes nine producing wells, all of which are subsea wells that are tied into a floating, producing, storage and offloading vessel;
    • Attractive concession terms with an 80% cost recovery cap, a 25% cost recovery uplift on development expenditures, and a 53% contractor profit oil take;
    • Strong margin asset with relatively low expected operating expenses of about $15 per BOE and crude price realizations closely aligned with Brent oil prices;
    • Expect minimal additional G&A costs moving forward as VAALCO’s existing operational and management teams will assume the majority of responsibilities following a short transitional period;
    • FPSO is scheduled to be taken offline in early 2025 for planned maintenance and upgrades and it is expected to return to production in 2026;
    • Significant development drilling expected to begin in 2026 with meaningful additions to production from the main Baobab field in CI-40, as well as potential future development of the Kossipo field also on the license; and
  • Transaction also includes a 21.05% working interest in OML 145, a non-producing discovery offshore Nigeria, that is operated by ExxonMobil that is not expected to be developed at this time.

George Maxwell, VAALCO’s Chief Executive Officer commented:
"Building a diversified portfolio of high performing assets is a key component of our strategic vision. We believe that this acquisition enhances all the key aspects of our strategy. It provides us with additional diversification, strong production and reserves from a proven producing asset, significant organic upside opportunity that is well defined, enhances our ability to generate sustainable cash flow and continue to return cash to shareholders. The Baobab field in Cote d’Ivoire has many parallels with Etame in terms of the historic production profile and how the upside is realized through development drilling campaigns meaning this is an asset type that we understand well. The field has been significantly de-risked through the drilling of 24 production wells, five injection wells and a near 20-year production history. The planned dry-docking and upgrading of the FPSO in 2025 will position us well for the expected production growth from the 2026 drilling program and for future drilling campaigns for many years to come. We are partnering with a great operator and believe our significant development experience offshore West Africa and the successful managing of our FPSO changeover in 2022 will provide insight and experience to help enhance future success at Baobab. We are adding an asset with strong current production and reserves at a very attractive price and using a portion of our cash on hand to fund the deal. This is highly accretive on key metrics to our shareholder base and provides another strong asset to support future growth."

"Our strategic vision has proven highly successful and VAALCO is financially stronger, with more reserves and production, than at any other time in our history. We are in an even better position now to grow in 2024 and beyond. We continue to have no bank debt and we will use our strong cash position to fund organic and inorganic growth opportunities as we remain focused on growing the business. The diversity and strength of our assets are paramount and support our ability to sustainably grow our production and reserves, and generate cash flow while returning value to our shareholders."

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