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OMV Petrom assets sale to Mazarine Energy, in Competition Council’s attention

The Competition Council (CC) is investigating the deal between OMV Petrom, the largest oil and gas producer in Southeastern Europe and Mazarine Energy Romania for 19 oil fields and three rigs, in order to establish whether it complies with competition rules.

“In order to determine whether the concentration is compatible with a normal competitive environment, the Competition Authority will consider the notified transaction under the mergers regulation,” a press release reads.

Mazarine Energy Romania is part of Mazarine Energy, a private oil and gas exploration and production company focusing on low risk, near-term, conventional exploration, development and production opportunities in Europe, Africa and the broader Mediterranean region.

Mazarine Energy is controlled by several funds managed by companies affiliated to Carlyle Group L.P. Carlyle Group is an alternative asset manager worldwide.

Hague-headquartered, Mazarine Energy is currently active in North Africa, with a majority operating interest in the Zaafrane license in central Tunisia, where two exploration wells were drilled close to existing infrastructure.

In October, OMV Petrom reached an agreement with Mazarine Energy Romania on the transfer of 19 onshore oil fields plus three workover rigs and associated crews for an undisclosed purchase price.

The 19 fields are part of a package which had been available for transfer since 2014 as part of field portfolio optimization. In 2015, the 19 fields had a cumulative daily production of approximately 1,000 boe per day, representing less than 1 percent of OMV Petrom daily production, data from the company showed.

The transaction is expected to be completed at the end of 2016, when Mazarine Energy Romania will assume operatorship of the fields and employment of over 200 staff currently employed by OMV Petrom, the oil and gas group said at the time.

Under Romania’s competition law, mergers exceeding certain turnover thresholds must be notified to the Competition Council which has to give or deny clearance. The capital for the transaction will come from the USD 500 million equity line provided by Carlyle International Energy Partners.

In April 2015, the Carlyle Group agreed to acquire the entire Romanian business of Canada’s Sterling Resources consisting of licence blocks 13 Pelican, 15 Midia, 25 Luceafarul and 27 Muridava.



About Anca Bernovici