Barclays-backed Hydra expands in WA oil, gas

Australian Financial Review
Angela Macdonald-Smith
Article Published: 4 April 2013

Hydra Energy, the Barclays Bank-backed private equity firm in Australia, has picked up more interests in undeveloped oil and gas fields in the prolific Carnarvon Basin off the west coast and is starting to consider how to bring them into production.

The permits, in which Hydra has bought interests raging from 4 per cent to 100 per cent, hold 14 undeveloped oil and gas discoveries, Hydra said on Thursday.

Chief executive Paul Nimmo, a former Shell executive, said the assets had been acquired through six separate deals, including one announced last October with Pan Pacific Petroleum. He said the fields hold about 20 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Hydra’s primary focus is on undeveloped, small fields that are non-core for larger players, but it is also looking at late-life assets in and around Australasia where it believes it can extend field life. It is backed by $US100 million from Barclays Natural Resource Investments, part of Barclays Bank.

Dr Nimmo said Hydra has so far spent about $20 million on its acquisitions and is looking to expand further.

“We are already talking to companies about adding to that suite of assets,”

he said from Perth, where Sydney-based Hydra has recently set up an office. Future investments could be south east Asia as well as more in Australia, Dr Nimmo said.

He said Hydra is working with Apache in two of the permits, and is operator itself in most of the rest. The fields, which include the small Corowa, Sage and Chamois deposits, could be developed using a jack-up rig and a floating production or storage vessel that could move between the fields.

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