MOL Group agrees to purchase a 9.57% stake in Azerbaijan’s ACG field and 8.9% in the BTC pipeline
- The ACG oil field is Azerbaijan’s largest strategic oil asset, while the BTC pipeline is a crucial export route for the Azeri crude; post-completion MOL will be the third largest field partner in ACG
- The transaction will be immediately EBITDA, free cash flow and EPS accretive to MOL and will add around 20,000 barrel per day to net group production
- The deal contributes to the further transformation of MOL’s upstream segment into an international business
- It is also in line with MOL Group’s 2030 strategy to maintain the resilient, integrated business model
MOL has signed an agreement with Chevron Global Ventures Ltd and Chevron BTC Pipeline, Ltd to acquire their non-operated E&P and mid-stream interests in Azerbaijan, including a 9.57% stake in the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (“ACG”) oil field, and an effective 8.9% stake in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (“BTC”) pipeline that transports the crude to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, for total consideration of USD 1.57bn (subject to adjustments at closing). Once completed, this transaction will make MOL the third largest field partner in ACG.
The supergiant ACG field is Azerbaijan’s flagship oil producing asset covering 400 square kilometers and including six off-shore production platforms. It has been producing oil since 1997 and has an excellent 20 year-long operational track record. The country’s largest oil field is operated by the oil giant BP and produced on average 584,000 barrel per day in 2018. MOL Group will team up with world-class partners such as BP, Exxon, Equinor and SOCAR in this key strategic asset. MOL also acquires a stake in the BTC pipeline transporting crude oil from Azerbaijan to the port of Ceyhan, Turkey, on the Mediterranean Sea.
This world-class asset will add around 20,000 barrel per day net to MOL’s production in the coming years and will also increase MOL’s proved and probable reserves materially.
The new assets will immediately start contributing EBITDA and free-cash flow to the group after completion. ACG is a low-cost producing asset, with excellent production track record over the last two decades, which would be breaking even in a much lower-oil price environment.
This transaction is an excellent fit to MOL’s current portfolio and the transaction contributes to the further transformation of MOL’s upstream segment into an international business by developing the company’s footprint in its core CIS region. The deal is in line with the transformation targets laid down in the 2030 strategy and it further strengthens MOL Group’s Upstream and Downstream integrated and resilient business model.
The total consideration payable by MOL Group for the transaction is USD 1.57bn (subject to adjustments at closing) which will be financed from available liquidity of the company.
“This major USD 1.57bn transaction is a significant milestone in building our international E&P portfolio, in one of our core regions, the CIS, where we will team up with world-class partners. Following the closing of the deal, around half of our production will come from outside the CEE region, giving us a healthy balance. With these new barrels we are also strengthening our resilient, integrated business model, which will continue to generate robust cash flow to finance the MOL 2030 transformational projects as well as rising dividends to our shareholders.” – commented Zsolt Hernádi, MOL Group’s Chairman-CEO.
„The ACG deal marks the beginning of a new chapter in MOL’s E&P story as we take a significant step to deliver on our promise of inorganic reserve replacement. By completing the ACG acquisition we are well positioned to preserve the excellent cash-flow generation ability of MOL’s E&P business for an extended period. MOL E&P has built a strong track record of delivering outstanding profitability over the course of the past three years and with this transaction we are continuing MOL E&P’s transformation to an international business, as promised in our MOL 2030 Strategy” – said Dr. Berislav Gaso, MOL Group, Executive Vice President for Upstream.
The transaction remains subject to government and regulatory approvals and is expected to close by Q2, 2020.
About ACG and BTC
ACG is the flagship oil producing asset of Azerbaijan encompassing six off-shore production platforms with an average production rate of 584,000 barrel per day in 2018. The ACG license area covers more than 400 square kilometers and is located nearly 120 kilometers off the coast in the Caspian Sea. ACG has been producing oil since 1997 and has been developed in several phases. ACG is operated by BP with a 30.4% stake, further stakes are held by SOCAR (25.0%), Chevron (9,57%) INPEX (9.3%), Equinor (7.3%), Exxon (6.8%), TPAO (5.7%), Itochu (3.7%), ONGC (2.3%).
The 1,768 km long Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline serves as the main transport route of oil produced by ACG from Baku, Azerbaijan, through Georgia to the deep water port facilities at Ceyhan, Turkey on the Mediterranean Sea.
About MOL Group
MOL Group is an integrated, international oil and gas company, headquartered in Budapest, Hungary. It is active in over 40 countries with a dynamic international workforce of 26,000 people and a track record of more than 100 years in the industry. MOL’s exploration and production activities are supported by more than 75 years’ experience in the hydrocarbon field.
At the moment, there are production activities in 8 countries and exploration assets in 13 countries, with Azerbaijan becoming the 14th country in MOL’s upstream portfolio. MOL Group operates four refineries and two petrochemical plants under integrated supply chain management in Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia, and owns a network of 2,000 service stations across 10 countries in Central & South Eastern Europe.
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