UNCONVENTIONAL oil and gas explorer South Pacific Resources has signed a strategic agreement to support its Papua New Guinea programme.

Earlier this year South Pacific Resources Limited (SPR) was awarded reservations over a significant prospective unconventional oil and gas acreage in PNG and the company has followed that up by reaching a commercial and technical alliance with Malaysian company Tamarind Management Sdn Bhd.

Kuala Lumpur-headquartered Tamarind has a team of industry veterans with extensive technical and commercial experience, previously backed by Blackstone Energy Partners L.P. with a capital commitment of a US$800 million to fund oil and gas exploration opportunities in South East Asia. The executive team of Tamarind includes Ian Angell, Michael Arnett and Ed Bassett:

Mr Angell has 25 years of experience in resources, and oil and gas, and has been based in South East Asia since 2000. Prior to co-founding Tamarind Energy Limited, he played a significant part in the successful establishment of Talisman Energy’s Malaysian and Asian business. Mr Angell’s regional knowledge and network base was founded on his experience as a vice-president at Wood Mackenzie and in energy management consulting at Schlumberger and Arthur D Little before joining Talisman. He holds an MBA from National University of Singapore and a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) from the University of Saskatchewan.

Mr Arnett is a former Partner and Member of the Board of the Natural Resources Business Unit of the law firm Norton Rose Fulbright (formerly Deacons).

He has more than 20 years’ experience in the areas of capital raising, corporate, commercial, banking and finance, mergers and acquisitions and securities predominantly in the mining, oil and gas sector. He is a director of a number of public and private companies including NRW Holdings Ltd and Queensland Energy Resources Limited. Mr Arnett holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws (BCom/LLB) degree from the University of New South Wales.

Mr Bassett has led commercial and business development activities across a wide range of international exploration and production companies including Petrofac, Mitsubishi, Total, Centrica and Enron prior to joining Tamarind as commercial director. Ed has a BA (Hons) in Economics and an accounting diploma.

experienced-technical-team-1SPR said the alliance will enable it to access a significant management and operating capability to explore the full potential of the PNG acreage as the company moves into the definition and execution of work programmes and the review of appropriate partnership and funding options.

The agreement with Tamarind involves a minimal cash outlay, dependent on a capital raising event and with an incentivised share option scheme based on key development and corporate milestones. Tamarind will be allotted 20 million options structured on progressive terms to align with the achievement of significant commercial and technical milestones as follows:

  • 2.5 million options with an exercise price of $0.08 and a 12 month term from vesting upon achieving a 20 day share price VWAP of $0.10;
  • 2.5 million options with an exercise price of $0.08 and a 12 month term from vesting upon achieving a 20 day share price VWAP of $0.15;
  • 5 million options with an exercise price of $0.10 and an 18 month term from vesting upon execution of first monetisation deal (including for example a strategic alliance, joint venture, farm-in or abandonment deal);
  • 5 million options with an exercise price of $0.12 and a 24 month term from vesting upon execution of second monetisation deal (defined as above); and
  • 5 million options with an exercise price of $0.15 and a 36 month term from vesting upon being engaged for period of two years, unless terminated by SPR in which case they vest immediately.

experienced-technical-team-2SPR director, Domenic Martino, said this agreement was another key step in the company’s strategy to investigate PNG’s unconventional oil and has potential.

“SPR has achieved a leading prospective unconventional oil and gas acreage position in PNG following a number of years of technical assessment and engagement with stakeholders in the PNG oil and gas sector,” Mr Martino said.

The company was delighted to receive the license reservations announced in July, following the introduction of the new Unconventional Oil and Gas regime in PNG in February 2016, and now are very pleased to announce this strategic alliance with Tamarind, an established oil and gas company, with extensive experience in the country. It provides SPR with access to significant human and operational resources to develop its licenses and reservations further, under a model which serves the shareholders of SPB well by tying Tamarind to the company’s success.”

Mr Angell said Tamarind has a good deal of PNG experience and was looking forward to working with SPR.

“Tamarind are delighted to be supporting SPR with the further development of their recently acquired shale reservations in PNG. Tamarind’s experience in the country and wider oil and gas capability is well placed to maximise the long term value of this prospective unconventional acreage.”

Tamarind’s experience in PNG stems from the very successful entry of Talisman Energy into the Western Province of PNG where Talisman remains one of the largest exploration and development acreage holders in the country.

During that time, members of the Tamarind team structured a vast array of transactions to support the PNG growth including corporate acquisitions, farmins, strategic alliances with service providers, partnerships with state agencies, farm-outs to global majors, fit-for purpose logistics and supply chains, and innovative community and social relations programmes.