New Zealand O&G takes control of Cue Energy

New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZOG) has secured a 50.01 percent holding in its subsidiary, ASX-listed Cue Energy Resources.

NZOG said on Tuesday that it acquired 13,514,462 Cue shares in the current financial year, increasing its interest from 48.11 to 50.01 percent. The total cost of the acquisition was AUD 1,124,338.44 ($845,806.08).

New Zealand Oil & Gas CEO, Andrew Jefferies, said: “Our controlling interest in Cue provides diversified exposure to Cue’s production and exploration interests in Australia, New Zealand, and Indonesia.

“Cue has cut costs significantly and refined its strategy. All of its shareholders benefit from these changes, which provide a positive reason to increase our holding to over 50 per cent,” he added.

Cue has production from its interest in the Maari oil field off Taranaki, and from the Sampang PSC in East Java, Indonesia. It has a portfolio of exploration including the substantial Ironbark prospect in the Carnarvon basin off West Australia, and in Indonesia.

Also, NZOG said on Monday that it was undergoing executive management changes. Two executives are leaving after accepting new positions outside the company, namely, the chief financial officer Andre Gaylard will leave at the end of January and general counsel Ralph Noldan in March.

The soon to be vacant CFO position will be filled by Catherine McKelvey who is the company’s current financial controller.

Jefferies said: “I am grateful to Andre and Ralph for their contribution as colleagues. I thank them for their considerable service, and as a company, we wish them well.”

NZOG CEO added that the company is entering ‘a new era’ following the sale of its interest in the Kupe gas field.

“We will return $100 million of cash to shareholders by May, and then we hope to deploy our remaining cash by buying production and reserves, and creating value from our portfolio. We are looking for assets that are suitable for our scale, with a preference towards gas and diversification in markets we understand.”

“This is the next stage in our company’s evolution following the sale of our Kupe asset. As I promised when we sold our Kupe interest, we will be focussing on costs – taking this opportunity to streamline our organizational structure – while using our technical capability dynamically to pursue the right assets at the right price.”

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