29 Aug 2017

New Zealand Oil & Gas back in the black

6:24 pm on 29 August 2017

The New Zealand Oil & Gas company, which an Australian company is aiming to take over, has stormed back into profit on the proceeds of an asset sale.

Offshore natural gas, oil

Photo: 123RF

The company has reported a net profit of $52.6 million for the year ended June compared with the previous year's $51.8m loss.

The turnaround reflected the sale of its 15 percent stake in the Kupe oil and gas field last year to Genesis Energy, but the result would have been better but for a $10m loss it had to account for from one of its investments, Cue Energy.

New Zealand Oil & Gas largely quit exploration and production activities when world oil prices slumped, and became a cashed-up company, returning $100m to shareholders.

It has since bought back into the Kupe field by acquiring the small stake held by Japanese firm Mitsui for $35m, and it has about $90m to invest.

"With strong cash reserves we are focused on acquiring assets at value in markets we understand at a scale and risk profile suitable for our size," said the chairman, Rodger Finlay.

An Australian owned company, Zeta Resources, has announced plans to make a partial takeover bid for a controlling stake in New Zealand Oil & Gas, at 72 cents a share.

New Zealand Oil & Gas said it was yet to receive a formal offer.

"The Board continues to emphasise to shareholders that they should take no action on Zeta's offer until they receive the target company statement," Mr Finlay said.

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