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November 23, 2009

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Oil firms near asset sale deal

BRITISH oil explorer Heritage Oil is in talks to sell its Ugandan assets to Italian oil group Eni SpA for between US$1.3 to US$1.5 billion, a person familiar with the matter said yesterday.

Talks are continuing and a deal could be announced as early as today, the person said. Heritage is examining paying a special dividend to return some of the proceeds to shareholders.

The Sunday Times reported that Heritage will pay a special dividend of 90 pence to 100 pence per share.

Heritage Chief Executive Tony Buckingham could get about 84 million pounds (US$126 million) from his 33 percent stake in the company, according to the paper.

Heritage is the operator and holds a 50 percent interest in two licences in Uganda.

The fields are estimated to contain more than 700 million barrels of gross resources.


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