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January 4, 2015

Venezuela blocks Harvest Natural Resources’ $275 assets sale

Energy firm Harvest Natural Resources has cancelled the $275m sale of its remaining assets in Venezuela after failing to secure approval from the Venezuela Government.

Energy firm Harvest Natural Resources has cancelled the $275m sale of its remaining assets in Venezuela after failing to secure approval from the Venezuela Government.

The Venezuelan Government and Corporacion Venezolana del Petroleo (CVP), a Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA) affiliate that, along with another PDVSA affiliate, owns a 60% interest in Petrodelta.

"We are both disappointed and frustrated that the sale of our interests in Petrodelta has once again been effectively denied by the Government of Venezuela."

In December 2013, Harvest unveiled plans to divest its stake in Venezuelan Petrodelta to Petroandina Resources for $275m.

Petroandina had already purchased an 11.6% stake in Petrodelta from Harvest for $125m.

The deal was approved by Harvest stockholders in May 2014.

The Venezuelan Government said the approval would be conditional on unspecified bonus payments and $1.52bn in financing for Petrodelta.

Harvest said Petroandina and the Venezuelan Government could not reach an agreement. The company will now retain its 20.4% interest in Petrodelta.

Harvest Natural Resources president and CEO James Edmiston said: "After three years of our best efforts, we are both disappointed and frustrated that the sale of our interests in Petrodelta has once again been effectively denied by the Government of Venezuela and CVP.

"As a result of this development, in the near term, Harvest will focus on strengthening its balance sheet and exploring alternatives with regard to our interests in Petrodelta and Gabon. These actions may include efforts to monetise our Dussafu asset."

Houston-based Harvest Natural Resources has principal operations in Venezuela and Gabon, as well as a business development office in Singapore.

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