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National Oilwell Varco to Buy Robbins & Myers for USD 2.5 Bln (USA)

National Oilwell Varco, Inc. and Robbins & Myers have entered into an agreement under which National Oilwell Varco will acquire Robbins & Myers, Inc. (NYSE:RBN) in an all cash transaction that values Robbins & Myers at approximately $2.5 billion.

Under the agreement, Robbins & Myers’ shareholders will receive $60.00 per share in cash in return for each of the approximately 42.4 million shares outstanding (“the Transaction”.) The Boards of Directors of National Oilwell Varco and Robbins & Myers have unanimously approved the transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, including the approval of two-thirds of Robbins & Myers shareholders. Closing would be expected to occur in the fourth quarter of calendar 2012.

Robbins & Myers’ largest shareholder, M.H.M. & Co., Ltd, which owns approximately 10% of the outstanding common shares of Robbins & Myers (“Common Stock”) has agreed to vote its Common Stock in favor of the Transaction in accordance with the terms of a support agreement entered into in respect of the Transaction. The support agreement will terminate in the event the merger agreement is terminated in accordance with recommendation of the Board of Robbins & Myers.

Mr. Pete Miller, Chairman, President and CEO of National Oilwell Varco, remarked, “Robbins & Myers has many complementary products with those National Oilwell Varco currently offers the industry. I am particularly enthusiastic about the prospect of incorporating their downhole tools, pumps and valves into National Oilwell Varco Petroleum Services & Supplies and Distribution & Transmission segments. We feel that our combined manufacturing infrastructure and portfolios of technology will further advance our presence in the oil and gas markets we serve. We are extremely excited about this combination and look forward to welcoming a very talented group of employees into the National Oilwell Varco family.”

Mr. Pete Wallace, President and Chief Executive Officer of Robbins & Myers commented, “Robbins & Myers Board of Directors believes that the proposed transaction with National Oilwell Varco represents a compelling value for our shareholders. This transaction allows Robbins & Myers to join forces with an industry leader that will enable its business segments to fully capitalize on their respective strategies, enhance leadership positions in niche applications, and execute growth plans at a faster pace. We have worked hard to create a focused business with reduced complexity and a culture of continuous improvement, all based on improving customer productivity and profitability. This is the right time for this transaction and I believe National Oilwell Varco is the right partner to take us to the next level of performance.”

National Oilwell Varco is a worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and sale of equipment and components used in oil and gas drilling and production operations, the provision of oilfield services, and supply chain integration services to the upstream oil and gas industry.

Robbins & Myers, Inc., headquartered in Houston, TX, is a leading supplier of engineered, application-critical equipment and systems for global energy, chemical and other industrial markets. The company provides products and services for upstream oil and gas markets, along with a portfolio of industrial process and flow control products. Robbins & Myers has 3,400 employees and operates in 15 countries.

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USA: API Upstream Director Calls for Expanded Five-Year Offshore Plan

API’s Group Director of Upstream and Industry Operations Erik Milito told reporters yesterday that today’s Central Gulf of Mexico lease sale would help the nation develop its offshore oil and natural gas resources but that there was also a need for a expanded five-year offshore plan if the U.S. goal is a stronger energy future for the nation:

“Every lease sale is important, but more important for our energy future than any individual sale is our nation’s broader energy policy framework. That, unfortunately, has been inadequate. The administration’s proposed five-year offshore leasing plan for 2012 through 2017 is a case in point. It would limit offshore development to where it historically has always been: parts of the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Alaska. It would restrict opportunities when it should be expanding them. It would not help prepare us well for our energy future.”

“With the right policies, we could secure at home much more of the energy supplies future generations of Americans will need. We also could create vast numbers of additional new jobs for Americans – perhaps one million more in seven years – and deliver billions more revenue to our government. Offshore leasing – and expansion of offshore leasing – are key parts of that equation.

“Oil and natural gas development is a long-term endeavor. Offshore development, in particular, takes many years. From the time a five-year offshore plan is issued to when production actually begins can take well over a decade. The proposed Department of the Interior five-year plan is insufficient, and each year we implement it, we will fall further behind what we really should be doing. The administration ought to begin working on a new plan immediately.”

API represents more than 500 oil and natural gas companies, leaders of a technology-driven industry that supplies most of America’s energy, supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers more than $86 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested more than $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.

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PNG: InterOil Net Profit Climbs

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InterOil said today its net profit for the quarter ended March 31, 2012 was $9.4 million compared with a net profit of $0.7 million for the same period in 2011, an improvement of $8.7 million.

First Quarter 2012 Highlights and Recent Developments

  • As of April 6, 2012, InterOil drilled the Triceratops-2 well in Papua New Guinea through the entire carbonate interval to a total depth of 7,336 feet (2,236 meters). The acquisition of wireline logs was completed on April 14, 2012 and the testing program is ongoing. The logs and DST pressure data indicate two separate, carbonate reservoir intervals with separate pressure systems and potentially separate or stacked hydrocarbon pay. The upper reservoir interval contains gas and condensate which preliminary pressure data indicates is in communication with the gas and condensate tested 3.8 kilometers away in the Bwata-1 well. The deeper zone lies below a 264 feet (80.5 meter) thick marl and argillaceous limestone interval, likely an intra-formational seal, where an independent formation evaluation indicates potential liquid hydrocarbons. The presence of movable hydrocarbons in the lower reservoir interval, at this stage, has not been confirmed with testing. However, a small volume of light oil of condensate composition was recovered.
  • Net profit for the quarter ended March 31, 2012 was $9.4 million. The operating segments of Corporate, Midstream Refining and Downstream collectively derived a net profit for the quarter of $28.6 million, while the investments in the development segments of Upstream and Midstream Liquefaction resulted in a net loss of $19.2 million.
  • Subsequent to quarter end, InterOil signed a binding Heads of Agreement with Pacific Rubiales Energy  to be able to earn a 10.0% net (12.9% gross) participating interest in PPL237, which includes the Triceratops structure. The transaction contemplates staged initial cash payments totaling $116.0 million, an additional carry of 25% of the costs of an agreed exploration work program, and a final resource payment. PRE has paid the initial $20 million of the staged cash payments. Definitive agreements are in the process of being finalized.

InterOil’s Chief Executive Officer Phil Mulacek commented, “We are pleased to report another successful quarter of profitability from our operating business. Additionally, we are excited to welcome Pacific Rubiales as partners in PPL 237, the company brings valuable expertise to our team.”

In regards to the ongoing LNG partnering process, Mr. Mulacek stated “We are continuing to work with our advisors to obtain a strategic partner. We have received conforming and non-conforming bids for the LNG partnering and sell down of an interest in the Elk and Antelope fields that we believe would be accretive to shareholders. We are now set to engage with a shortlist of significant LNG industry participants with a view to concluding discussions and entering into an agreement this quarter. The end result of the partnering process is envisioned to fully satisfy all the terms of the 2009 LNG Project Agreement.”

As to the Triceratops-2 well, Mr. Mulacek noted that, “Despite mechanical difficulties in obtaining a successful drill stem test from zones of interest in the lower hydrocarbon interval, we are very encouraged by gas and liquid hydrocarbon testing ongoing at the Triceratops-2 well. A plan is in place to evaluate the entire drilled interval and would likely include casing the entire interval and perforating zones of interest to obtain definitive results. Our prospect inventory is maturing and we anticipate that it will support our goal of a multi-year, multi-well exploration program. We believe that these achievements, combined with our strong balance sheet, support our continued growth and operational success.”

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InterOil Net Profit Climbs (USA)

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InterOil Corporation today said that its 2011 net profit was $17.7 million compared with a net loss of $44.5 million for the same period in 2010.

Fourth Quarter 2011 Highlights and Recent Developments

• During the fourth quarter, InterOil completed two Heads of Agreements (HOA) on long-term LNG supply for its proposed LNG project in Papua New Guinea, bringing the total of its three HOAs to 3.3 to 3.8 million tonnes per annum (mtpa). While not binding, these HOAs set out the basis upon which the parties intend to negotiate and document terms for the purchase and sale of LNG.

Exploration activities continued across our three Petroleum Prospecting Licenses (PPLs) in PNG during the quarter. Seven dip lines were acquired to further delineate the Wahoo and Mako prospects and identify potential drilling locations. Processing and interpretation of the data is ongoing. A third phase of seismic data acquisition, which consists of two dip orientated lines totaling 21 kilometers in length over the Tuna prospect and Wahoo/Mako prospects, commenced on December 22, 2011. Line preparation is currently in progress.

• Net profit for the year ended December 31, 2011 was $17.7 million compared with a net loss of $44.5 million for the same period in 2010, an improvement of $62.2 million. The operating segments of Corporate, Midstream Refining and Downstream collectively returned a net profit for the year of $82.3 million. The development segments of Upstream and Midstream Liquefaction yielded a net loss of $64.6 million.

• Subsequent to the quarter end, on January 17th, 2012, InterOil announced that the Triceratops-2 delineation well had been spudded. The Triceratops-2 well is an appraisal well to test the presence of hydrocarbons and determine whether a potential reefal carbonate reservoir exists in the Triceratops field.

InterOil’s Chief Executive Officer Phil Mulacek commented, “We continue to work with our existing LNG development partners and the PNG government to advance our LNG project towards first production. Simultaneously, our advisors are managing the process of soliciting and evaluating proposals from potential strategic LNG partners. If a strategic partner is selected, we expect that such a partner would assist with accelerating the LNG project’s capacity growth. Our delineation drilling at Triceratops has the potential to add to our substantial resource estimate at Elk and Antelope, and provide back-up supply for increasing LNG capacity. Our prospect inventory is maturing and we anticipate that it will support our goal of a multi-year, multi-well exploration program. We believe that these achievements, combined with our strong balance sheet, support our continued growth and operational success.

France: Total Allocates Billions for Upstream in 2012

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French oil major Total said today it intended to continue to actively manage its asset portfolio with, in particular, a program of non-strategic asset sales.

The 2012 budget for organic investments is $24 billion , of which more than 80% will be dedicated to the Upstream.

In the Upstream, Total expects in 2012 to implement its strategy to accelerate production growth and increase the profitability of its asset portfolio.

The ramp-up of Pazflor in Angola and the start-up of several major projects, including Usan in Nigeria, Angola LNG, and Bongkot South in Thailand, will contribute to  production growth in 2012 and to achieving the objective of growing production by 2.5% per year on average between 2010 and 2015.

“The successful start-up of the Pazflor field in Angola was the crowning achievement of an important year for Total. This start-up and the ones to follow will ensure a return to production growth in 2012 and the years to come”, Chairman and CEO Christophe de Margerie said.

After launching Ichthys in Australia, announced at the start of  this year, Total said it intends to continue work on the drivers for post-2015 growth by preparing to launch, notably, projects in West Africa, Russia and Canada.

Income Soars

The Group today announced 2011 adjusted net income of $15.9 billion which is an increase of 17 per cent when compared to full year results from 2010.

Commenting on the results de Margerie said:

“In a period of economic slowdown, ongoing tensions on the global oil supply supported the Brent price above 110 S/b in 2011. This environment has been favorable for the Upstream, but it was difficult for the Downstream activities, notably in Europe. In this context, the Group posted a 17% increase in earnings, expressed in dollars, compared to 2010. With its track record of operational excellence, the Group also confirms its constant improvement in safety performance.”

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