Bregal Investments to sell Calgary’s Birchill Exploration to PKN Orlen

TriOil Resources Ltd, a Canadian energy company owned by PKN Orlen SA, has agreed to buy Calgary’s Birchill Exploration LP, which operates oil and gas fields in the Ferrier-Strachan area of Alberta. The seller is Bregal Investments, the private equity investment arm of European holding company COFRA Holding AG. Financial terms were not disclosed. PKN Orlen said the Birchill acquisition is consistent with its upstream development strategy of diversifying the company’s global assets. The Calgary-based TriOil was acquired by PKN Orlen, a Polish petroleum and petrochemical business, in November 2013.


Consecutive investment of ORLEN in Canada


TriOil Resources Ltd. (“TriOil”), the Company from ORLEN Group, entered into an Agreement to acquire Birchill Exploration Limited Partnership (“Birchill”). Successful completion of the transaction will double ORLEN Group’s oil and natural reserves base in Canada.

ORLEN Group’s existing producing assets in Canada are concentrated in the Pouce Coupe, Kaybob and Lochend fields in the province of Alberta, with total proved and probable reserves (2P) of 22 million boe. In Q1 2014, TriOil’s average production amounted to 3.7 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (“boe/d”), 60% of which were liquid hydrocarbons (crude oil and condensate).

The oil and gas fields operated by Birchill are also located in Alberta, Canada, in the Ferrier/Strachan area, in proximity of TriOil’s existing fields. Closing of the transaction is subject to certain conditions including clearance from the Competition Bureau in accordance with Canadian laws.

“Our acquisition of TriOil last year paved the way to further development of ORLEN Group’s E&P operations in North America. The agreement, which initiates the acquisition of additional producing assets, fits into the Group’s strategy for the production segment. Diversification and expansion of production capacity is our pathway to increasing our Group’s value,” said Jacek Krawiec, President of the PKN ORLEN Management Board. “At the same time, we continue exploring shale gas and oil in Poland. We have already drilled ten exploratory wells within our shale licence areas, including seven vertical and three horizontal wells, and performed two full hydraulic fracturing processes. We also intend to drill a fourth horizontal well on the Wierzbica licence, and to carry out another hydraulic fracturing process in August,” added Jacek Krawiec.

The proposed Birchill acquisition is consistent with PKN ORLEN’s strategy for 2013-2017, which envisages development of the upstream segment by diversifying the Group’s worldwide portfolio of assets. The Company has allocated PLN 2.7bn to advance this strategic objective. ORLEN’s acquisitions do not reduce the amount of funds earmarked for exploration and production activities in Poland, including those in unconventional oil and gas plays. In the coming years, total investments in the upstream segment under the Company’s strategy may amount to as much as PLN 5.1bn.

Further details regarding the transaction will be disclosed after its closure. National Bank Financial in Calgary (NBF) is the financial advisor to TriOil on this transaction.

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