Is GPG cash-strapped?

There appears to be some uncertainty with the Russian oil company, Global Petroleum Group (GPG) which is exploring for oil and gas in Grenadian waters.

Works Minister Gregory Bowen announced last year that the Russian outfit was trying to raise money on the Chinese market to continue with the project in Grenada.

There has been no official statement from GPG on the issue but a report has now surfaced indicating that another Russian outfit known as Sistema is looking at selling off its shares in GPG.

Following is the report:

MOSCOW — Russian multi-industry holding Sistema is considering selling its beneficial stake in Global Petroleum Group (GPG) that produces oil and gas in the shelf zone of Grenada partially or fully, Vedomosti business daily reported, quoting Sistema’s core owner Vladimir Yevtushenkov as saying.

He did not elaborate, but sources said that Sistema is discussing the deal with Chinese buyers among others, and that one large Chinese fund was interested in the asset.

A source familiar with Sistema’s management said that it was still unclear whether the company would sell its entire stake or part of it, and that much depends on offers.

In 2013, Sistema’s Cyprus unit bought 50% in Multiple Investments, which controls GPG that has the only license for production of hydrocarbons in Grenada’s shelf zone. Later, Sistema issued two loans to GPG to support exploration and drilling – an unsecured U.S. $69.2 million loan and a $100 million loan secured by a 19% stake in GPG.

Consulting company DeGolyer estimated reserves of GPG in 400 billion cubic meters of natural gas in August 2018, and the cost of its project at $774 million, so Sistema may sell its stake in GPG for a maximum price of $534 million, Vedomosti said.

Fitch Rating’s analyst Dmitry Marinchenko said that the company has primarily gas reserves, which are tougher to monetise than oil. If the reserves are proven, an owner of the asset will have to find a buyer for the gas and to raise banking financing for the project. It takes time, so the asset will have to be sold with a large discount if it is unclear who would buy the gas, Marinchenko said.

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