Tullow in talks to sell assets but early deal is not expected

Tullow Oil has entered talks aimed at selling off its non-core Asian assets, but no deal is expected to conclude before the end of the year.

The Irish-founded oil and gas exploration and production company has eight licences across Pakistan and Bangladesh, but these assets have long been viewed as non-core, as management focussed on Africa and, to a lesser extent, South America and northern Europe.

Speaking after yesterday’s Irish shareholders meeting in Dublin, Tullow’s chief executive, Aidan Heavey said that management began the sales process regarding Asia within the last month and that talks had begun with a few companies.

He added, however, the process would probably take a minimum of six months to complete, but that Tullow was not in a hurry to complete the sale, given the current strong state of its balance sheet and capital levels.

Tullow also announced, yesterday, it is expanding its Dublin office, with the creation of 30 high-skill jobs in the area of geophysics and information systems. The move increases staff levels here to 130 and copper-fastens Dublin as the company’s analytical hub. All of Tullow’s seismic and geological study work is processed and interpreted in Dublin.

Mr Heavey said that while the company is now headquartered in London, management remains proud of its Irish roots.

“Our team in Dublin was instrumental in the Zaedyus discovery offshore French Guiana last year, which has opened up a new and exciting basin for Tullow in South America. The team has also played an important role in other successful campaigns, including our newest operational area, Kenya. The Irish operations remain central to the success of a number of key exploration campaigns,” he added.

Tullow also reiterated it is anticipating full production to come from its headline asset, the Ghana-based Jubilee oil field, by early next year. The company is working on the most cost-effective solution to some mechanical issues, relating to well designs, at the site — something which has held back full-scale production.


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