OMV’s US$578 million acquisition of Shell’s Upstream business in New Zealand

Ashurst is advising OMV, the international integrated oil and gas company based in Vienna, on the acquisition of Shell’s Upstream business in New Zealand for US$578 million.

The assets comprise joint venture interests in Pohokura (48%), the largest gas producing field in New Zealand, and Maui (83.75%), as well as related infrastructure for production, storage and transportation.

OMV is an existing partner in the assets (26% in Pohokura and 10% in Maui) and intends to assume operatorship in both joint ventures. Average production of the acquired assets in the first two months of 2018 was 31,000 boe/d.

In parallel to the acquisition of the interests in Pohokura and Maui, OMV has also acquired Shell’s 60.98% interest in the Great South Basin exploration block (GSB). The transfer of GSB is effective immediately and increases OMV’s stake in GSB to 82.93%.

The Ashurst team was led by co-head of oil and gas and partner Michael Burns (picture), assisted by senior associate Mary Seely and associates Priya Shah and Emma Camilleri. Tax advice was provided by partner Nicholas Gardner and senior associate Tim Gummer. Partner Ruth Buchanan advised on employment matters, assisted by senior associate Sean Coyne, with counsel David Baxter advising on the incentives aspects of the transaction. Counsel John Gordon and associate Liz Ramsaran provided pensions advice. Counsel Eleanor Reeves advised on environmental and health & safety matters. The Ashurst team worked closely with OMV’s in-house team led by Andreas Aigner, head of M&A legal, and Matthias Allerstorfer, senior legal counsel, as well as OMV’s counsel in New Zealand, Simpson Grierson, led by partner Dave Trueman.

Involved fees earner: Michael Burns – Ashurst; Mary Seely – Ashurst; Priya Shah – Ashurst; Emma Camilleri – Ashurst; Tim Gummer – Ashurst; Nicholas Gardner – Ashurst; Ruth Buchanan – Ashurst; Sean Coyne – Ashurst; David Baxter – Ashurst; John Gordon – Ashurst; Liz Ramsaran – Ashurst; Eleanor Reeves – Ashurst;

Law Firms: Ashurst;

Clients: OMV Group;

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