Harvest Says Venezuela Supports Asset Sale to Indonesia

Harvest Natural Resources Inc., the U.S. oil producer seeking to shed Venezuelan assets, has had support from the South American country to sell a joint-venture stake to Indonesia, Chief Executive Officer James Edmiston said.

The Houston-based company sees no reason why the $725 million deal won’t be approved by Venezuelan officials and state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA, known as PDVSA, Edmiston said today on a conference call with investors and analysts.

“PDVSA and the Venezuela side in general have been very supportive of our efforts throughout this process,” he said. “This transaction is also a bilateral arrangement between two sovereign countries. We would never have come to this point had the feedback thus far not been wholly positive.”

Harvest jumped 87 percent on June 22 after announcing it would sell its 32 percent stake in the Petrodelta SA venture with PDVSA to Indonesia’s state-run PT Pertamina. The deal may take “some time” to be closed and needs approval from the Venezuelan and Indonesian governments as well as Harvest shareholders, Edmiston said.

The two companies will hold meetings in the week of Sept. 5 to assess progress in governmental approvals and have the right to terminate the purchase agreement at that time, Harvest said in a U.S. regulatory filing on June 21.

Harvest fell 4.3 percent to $8.57 at 12:47 p.m. in New York.

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