Harvest Natural Resources Exits Venezuela

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Independent oil and gas producer Harvest Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE: HNR) announced Monday morning that it has agreed to sell all its Venezuelan assets in two transactions for a total of $400 million. The proposed sale was first announced in mid-November.

In April, Harvest announced that proved and probable reserves for Petrodelta declined in 2012. The news comes just a few weeks after the sale of Petrodelta to Indonesia’s Pertamina was cancelled by the potential buyer.

Harvest’s 32% share of the total proved and probable reserves came to just over 100 million barrels at the end of 2012. That was down 3% from the company’s reserves position at the end of 2011. Worse still, proved reserves fell 11% to 38.4 million barrels of oil equivalent at the end of 2012.

The transactions announced Monday will shake out this way:

The Buyer [Petroandina Resources Corp. BV] will purchase Harvest’s 32% interest in Petrodelta, S.A. by purchasing HNR Energia’s 80% interest in Harvest-Vinccler Dutch Holding B.V. (Harvest Vinccler) in two transactions of 29% and 51%, respectively. Harvest Vinccler owns, indirectly through wholly-owned subsidiaries, a 40% interest in Petrodelta, S.A.

The first transaction for 29% of Harvest’s stake in Harvest Vinccler closed Monday for $125 million. The sale of the remaining 51% stake in Harvest Vinccler, to Pluspetrol Resources, is expected to close by mid-2014, following shareholder and Venezuelan government approval.

The price that Harvest is realizing for its sale is about $95 million less than the company reported on its September Form 10-Q filing.

Six Harvest executives purchased 246,000 shares of the company’s stock in November, according to SEC filings, the only insider trading recorded so far in 2013.

Shares of Harvest were up about 31% in premarket trading Monday, at $5.15 in a 52-week range of $2.45 to $10.83.