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Po Valley Energy Completes Euro 20M Refinancing With Nedbank

Po Valley Energy (ASX:PVE) has secured a Euro 20 million reserve based lending (NYSEARCA:RBL) facility with Nedbank Group, that could potentially consolidate its status as a gas producer.

The new five year term Nedbank facility replaces the current debt facility with Lloyds Bank, which matures this November.

It has a current drawn balance of Euro 4 million.

The funds will be used to boost further growth with the company booking maiden profit before income tax of Euro201,570 for the year ended 31 December 2012.

Po Valley's CEO and managing director Giovanni Catalano said, "Funding under the Lloyds facility enabled PVE to transform from an exploration company to a production company.

"The new Nedbank facility allows us to fund the next stage of the company's growth opportunities which include two final production concession grants, the development of our first offshore permit and other projects in the company's pipeline."

It is currently waiting on final approval from Italy's Ministry of Economic Development (UNMIG) to restart production from the main producing level at its Sillaro gas field, where gas production will be boosted to 2.4 million cubic feet per day, up from the average production of 1.7MMcfd it recorded from the field in the March 2013 quarter.

On the exploration side, Po Valley is close to finalising a farm-out of 25% equity at the La Prospera licence.

Civil works will start on the Gradizza-1 well, which will be drilled to a depth of 1,000 metres and target 9 billion cubic feet of gas.

Po Valley has also identified a new low risk gas prospect at the Podere Gallina licence, where the Selva gas field produced 83 Bcf from 15 wells over a 35-year period.

Furthermore, the company has also found a new prospect in the Cascina Castello production concession, which is estimated to hold a 2C prospective resource of 2.4 Bcf of gas.

There is also a high potential for gas discoveries within the AR94PY offshore permit, which is estimated to have a combined 2C contingent resource of 47.3 Bcf.

AR94PY is located in the shallow waters of the Adriatic Sea and contains two connected gas discoveries, Carola and Irma, which were previously drilled and tested by Italy's Eni.

Analysis

Receiving the commitment from Nedbank is a coup for Po Valley Energy in what is a challenging global economic climate. The Nedbank facility will fund the next stage of growth.

Often forgotten is that Po Valley has successfully transformed from an exploration company to a production company in Italy.

Po Valley commercialises the company's gas production on the Italian spot gas market though InTrading Srl, a joint venture with the Italian gas wholesale distributor Italtrading Spa.

The average spot price for the March quarter was 29 Euro cents per cubic metre. The average price for the month of April is 31 Euro cents per scm.

Revenue for the March quarter was €1.6 million ($2.1 million). Cash at bank at the end of the quarter amounted to €1.32 million (AUD 1.6 million).

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