Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Tullow Oil Plc, a U.K. explorer seeking to bring partners into its Ugandan fields, expects to conclude a $2.9 billion stake sale to Total SA and Cnooc Ltd. in weeks after signing production-sharing accords this month.
“The process has started and discussions are happening between the partners,” Jimmy Kiberu, a spokesman for Tullow’s Ugandan unit, said in an interview in the capital, Kampala. “In a couple of weeks the deal will be concluded as the legal paperwork is already happening.”
The company agreed last March to sell stakes in three oil blocks to Total and Cnooc, giving each a third of Exploration Areas 1, 2 and 3A in the Lake Albert Basin. Uganda subsequently delayed approval amid contractual disagreements and an oil- industry corruption investigation. On Feb. 3, Tullow signed production-sharing agreements with the government, paving the way for the conclusion of the deals with Total and Cnooc.
The East African country has an estimated 2.5 billion barrels of oil, according to Tullow. The partners at Lake Albert may invest about $10 billion to produce more than 200,000 barrels of oil a day as soon as 2015.
Tullow, based and listed in London, said two years ago it planned to sell shares in Uganda, before putting the plan on hold as the partnership deal stalled. With the signing of production-sharing accords, the company has renewed its interest in the listing proposal and will hold a public offering once the sale to Total and Cnooc is concluded, Elly Karuhanga, president of Tullow Uganda, said today in an interview.
Draft Oil Laws
“We have started talking to the Capital Markets Authority,” Karuhanga said. “After the farm-down, listing will be the next thing.”
A bill covering Uganda’s management of oil revenues will be debated in parliament next week, Minister of State for Energy Simon D’Ujanga said today. A draft law on production regulations was presented last week, while another on oil refining, gas processing and petroleum transportation was tabled yesterday, he said.
--Editors: Amanda Jordan, Tony Barrett
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