P.Rubiales could shed Colombia assets if oil keeps falling - report

Thu Feb 5, 2015 12:13pm EST
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BOGOTA Feb 5 (Reuters) - Canadian oil company Pacific Rubiales could sell some Colombian assets if oil prices fall below $45 per barrel, its Chief Executive Ronald Pantin said in an interview with local media published on Thursday.

In the last six months, Pacific Rubiales' shares have fallen 81.7 percent in Toronto and 79.4 percent on the Bogota stock exchange due to the plunge in international oil prices and speculation that firm may struggle to meet debt payments.

"The risk of Pacific Rubiales not fulfilling its obligations, be it with individuals, providers or financial institutions is zero," Pantin told financial daily Portfolio.

The company has a little over $4 billion in debt through bonds which expire between 2019 and 2025 and $600 million in bank loans, some of which are coming due this year.

Last year the company sold its roughly 5 percent stake in the Ocensa oil pipeline for $380 million as well as a 43 percent stake in Pacific Midstream, a holding company with mainly logistics assets, to the World Bank's private investment arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) for $320 million.

"We could sell more of Pacific Midstream or leave Puerto Bahia which is not planned, but the message is that we have options," said Pantin, asked about how the company might respond if oil prices fell below $45 per barrel.

Puerto Bahia is Pacific's multi-purpose public-access port in the city of Cartagena, on the Caribbean coast, with facilities to handle petroleum exports.

The executive said the company also had an approved $1 billion credit line which it could tap if and when it needed to. The company has no plans to touch it for now, Pantin said. It was a reassurance to have it nonetheless, he said.

Trading in Pacific Rubiales shares has been volatile this week. The Toronto and Bogota listed stocks both rose by 20 percent by late morning Thursday. (Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra; Writing by Peter Murphy; Editing by Tom Brown)