European law firm Fieldfisher has acted for privately-held Hartshead Resources Limited (HRL) on its acquisition by ASX-listed Ansila Energy NL (ANA), which has purchased the outstanding 78.4% of HRL not already owned by ANA.
The transaction was approved at ANA's 2020 Annual General meeting on Friday 29 January 2021 and completion of the deal was announced on the ASX today (3 February 2021), when trading in the company’s shares on the ASX will recommence.
ANA acquired its initial stake in Hartshead in July 2019, under its previous name of Pura Vida Energy. As a consequence of this latest transaction, Hartshead is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of ANA, which becomes a new UK North Sea gas development company.
Hartshead’s principal focus is to develop gas resources as sustainable, low-emission projects.
The company was formally awarded five contiguous blocks in the Southern North Sea (the HRL licence) in the UK 32nd Offshore Licensing Round, following the offer of awards announced by the OGA on 3 September 2020.
The blocks contain four existing discoveries totalling 354 Bcf of 2C Contingent Resources.
Contemporaneously with the HRL transaction, ANA also completed a placement to raise A$8 million, the proceeds of which will be enable it to achieve several initial milestones as part of a multi-phased development of existing gas discoveries within the HRL licence area.
Brad Isaac, corporate partner at Fieldfisher who advised Hartshead on the acquisition, commented:
"We are pleased to have closed this transaction for Hartshead, one of a number of clients we act for whose focus is on developing projects in the UKCS.
"The North Sea's southern gas basin has been producing for more than 50 years, however economically recoverable resources remain available to nimble developers.
"While these pockets of gas are not of sufficient scale to attract the oil and gas majors or larger independents that have historically dominated North Sea production, they represent worthwhile opportunities for juniors and smaller independents that are able to execute agile development plans.
"The availability of near-term production opportunities coupled with the sale of assets by incumbent operators is likely to tempt further international developers into the UKCS over the coming decade.
"Oil and gas, coupled with appropriate carbon capture technologies, are expected to remain a vital part of the UK’s energy mix for the foreseeable future, and natural gas in particular is regarded as an important enabler of the transition towards net zero carbon."
Andrew Matharu, Chief Financial Officer of Hartshead Resources, commented:
“It was a pleasure to work with Brad and his team at Fieldfisher on this transaction who provided us with sound advice and guidance throughout the process.
"The completion of this transaction and capital raise marks a new chapter for Ansila Energy as a gas development company with ready-to-develop projects on the UK Continental Shelf.”
Fieldfisher is a European law firm with market leading practices in many of the world's most dynamic sectors.
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The firm's oil and gas team advises on exploration, development and production activities, decommissioning, prospective partners, corporate and asset due diligence, and project finance and security arrangements. With complementary expertise in regulatory, insurance and risk transfer, and contentious and non-contentious construction, the team helps clients tackle a multitude of legal challenges, no matter the size or complexity of the issue.
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