Austria's OMV to buy Tunisian assets of Pioneer Natural Resources for $866 mn

OMV, Austria's largest integrated oil and gas group, yesterday said that it will acquire the Tunisian exploration and production (E&P) subsidiaries of US-based Pioneer Natural Resources, for $866 million to strengthen its North African business.

Vienna-based OMV's fully owned subsidiary OMV (Tunesien) Production GmbH, is buying Pioneer Tunisia comprising of Pioneer Natural Resources Tunisia and Pioneer Natural Resources Anaguid from Pioneer Natural Resources, an independent US oil and gas company, for $800 million plus $65.7 million working capital of Pioneer Tunisia.

Pioneer Tunisia holds interests in three production concessions comprising of Jenein Nord-Cherouq, where it is the operator with 50-per cent stake, operator at Mona / Durra with 30 per cent and 20 per cent interests in Adam.

It also holds four exploration permits in southern Tunisia comprising 100-per cent stake in Jenein Nord and El Hamra, operator with 60 per cent at Anaguid and 40 per cent of Borj-El-Khadra.

With group sales of €17.92 billion in 2009 and a workforce of 34,676 employees, OMV is one of Austria's largest listed industrial companies. As the leading energy group in the European growth belt, OMV is active in refining and marketing in 12 countries, while it is active in 17 countries on four continents in exploration and production.

OMV has substantial interests in North Africa, especially after it acquired the international E&P activities of Preussag in 2003 that gave it access to several onshore and offshore oil fields in the Gulf of Gabes.