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    Jadestone, OMV scrap New Zealand deal due to regulatory uncertainty


Jadestone had in 2019 signed a deal with Austria's OMV to buy an operated 69% interest in the Maari project, offshore New Zealand.

by: Shardul Sharma

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Jadestone, OMV scrap New Zealand deal due to regulatory uncertainty

Asia Pacific-focused Jadestone Energy has terminated the deal signed with Austria's OMV to acquire an operated 69% interest in the Maari project offshore New Zealand due to regulatory uncertainty, it said on October 27. The agreement was announced in November 2019.

The company said that following legislative changes to New Zealand’s upstream regulatory framework at the end of 2021, it has been continually engaged with OMV New Zealand and the New Zealand government to seek clarity on the processes, terms and associated timeline required to complete the Maari transaction.  


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“Due to a lack of progress on regulatory approval, and resultant uncertainty over the timing of this approval for the transfer of interest and operatorship of the Maari project, Jadestone and OMV have now reluctantly reached a decision to terminate the transaction,” Jadestone said.

Jadestone CEO Paul Blakeley said that even almost twelve months after the new legislation came into effect, there is still little to no clarity on what is required to receive the necessary government approval to complete the acquisition.  

“Nearly three years after the acquisition was first announced, and with an upcoming license expiry in 2027, this leaves insufficient time to confidently invest in the asset and therefore, despite our best efforts, it is now time to move on,” he said.

“When balanced against the growing number of alternative inorganic growth opportunities elsewhere in the wider Asia-Pacific region, Jadestone cannot continue to spend time and resources on the Maari process, and we are firm in the belief that this decision is in the best interests of the company,” Blakeley said.

OMV wants to exit the Maari field as part of plans to focus more on its gas business.