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BRAZIL: Another Discovery for Karoon

Bottom Line: Karoon Gas Australia Ltd. (KAR) was already ripe for takeover last month, and a secondary discovery in Brazil last week adds some significantly unexpected value.

Analysis: Last week, Karoon found oil at its Bilby-1 well in Brazil’s prolific Santos Basin. Earlier this year, it made another discovery at its Kangaroo-1 well. On the second discovery, the company’s stocks shot up 28% on the Sydney stock exchange, hitting their highest point in four years. In late 2010, Karoon was toying with a public offering for its South American assets, but then had a change of heart and stepped up exploration offshore Brazil and Peru. In September 2012, Colombia’s Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp. (PRE) agreed to acquire a 35% stake in Karoon’s Brazil blocks. At Bilby, on Block S-M-1166, oil contained an inter-bedded sand and shale interval of Late Cretaceous age, with drilling to 3,854 meters. Karoon’s third well, Emu-1, Emu-1 was plugged and abandoned after failing to discover hydrocarbons in commercial quantities.

Recommendation: Follow this company closely: It’s working on getting drilling rigs now for Kangaroo and Bilby. Rumor late last year was that CitiGroup Inc was eyeing a takeover.

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