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Romania's anti-trust body looks into OMV Petrom assets sale to Mazarine Energy

Romania's anti-trust body looks into OMV Petrom assets sale to Mazarine Energy Author: OMV Aktiengesellschaft. License: All rights reserved.

BUCHAREST (Romania), December 27 (SeeNews) - Romania's anti-trust regulator said on Tuesday it is looking into a deal between  Romania's top oil and gas group OMV Petrom [BSE: SNP] 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," the Council said in a press release.

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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 provisions of the law apply to mergers in which the aggregate annual turnover of the companies involved exceeds the equivalent in lei of 10 million euro ($10.7 million) and at least two companies involved in the merger have an individual turnover in Romania of more than 4 million euro equivalent in lei, the regulator said.

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% 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.

The capital for the transaction will come from the $500 million equity line provided by Carlyle International Energy Partners, a $2.5 billion fund that invests in global oil and gas exploration and production, mid- and downstream, oil field services and refining and marketing in Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia.

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.

OMV Petrom is the largest integrated oil and gas group in Southeastern Europe, with an annual oil and gas production of approximately 65 million boe in 2015. The group is present on the oil products retail markets in Romania and neighbouring countries through 784 filling stations, as of end-June 2016.

Blue chip OMV Petrom was trading 0.38% lower at 0.26 lei at 1407 CET on Tuesday on the Bucharest Stock Exchange.

Mazarine Energy is 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. Headquartered in The Hague, the company 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. Mazarine Energy Romania is a fully owned Romanian subsidiary of Mazarine Energy B.V.

(1 euro=4.5363 lei)