Thai state group PTT raises its offer for Cove Energy

24 May 2012

Thai state group PTT Exploration & Production (PTTEP) Wednesday announced an offer of US$1.9 billion to buy Irish company Cove Energy, bettering the US$1.8 billion offer made by Royal Dutch Shell.

Cove Energy’s main asset is an 8.5 percent stake in Area 1 of the Rovuma Basin, in the sea off the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado, where US group Anadarko Petroleum, which has the biggest stake and is the operator, announced it had discovered natural gas reserves estimated to total 75 trillion cubic feet.

The Irish company also has a 10 percent stake in an onshore block in Cabo Delgado.

In September 2009 Cove Energy and French company M&P acquired the assets of oil company Artumas, which included the 8.5 percent stake in Offshore Block 1 for US$11 million.

Meanwhile, the Mozambican deputy Mining Resources Minister, Abdul Razak, said Wednesday in Maputo that the Mozambican government and Cove Energy were discussing the rate of tax on the sale of the company, which is listed on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange.

On the sidelines of the Nordic-Mozambican conference on Inclusive Growth that began Wednesday in the Mozambican capital, Razak said that, “transaction in Mozambique that are profitable must be taxed.”

A previous announcement said that the transaction would be subject to 12.8 percent rate of tax on profits. (macauhub)