Gas De France acquires stake in block in Western Desert in Egypt

Nicosia, Nov 18 : Gaz de France, which is a major energy player in Europe, has acquired 45 per cent stake in the Alam El Shawish West licence in Egypt from Greek company Vegas Oil and Gas.

Covering 1,075, this licence is located at the Abu Gharadig Basin in the Western Desert, south-west of Alexandria. Several significant discoveries have already been made there and an exploration program has been under way. Oil production is expected to begin very shortly, followed by natural gas production in the years to come. Vegas Oil and Gas will remain the operator for the licence.

The transaction is subject to approval by the Egyptian authorities. A company announcement said that through this acquisition, Gas De France will be able to increase its portfolio of reserves by at least 30 million of barrels of oil equivalent, according to preliminary estimates. This volume can eventually be much higher as new discoveries may be made in the region.

This new acquisition confirms the Group's involvement in the natural gas sector in Egypt, where significant oil and gas discoveries have been made in recent years. Gaz de France has been present on Egyptian offshore since 2001. More specifically, the Group has been operating the West El Burullus concession, off the coast of Alexandria, since 2005. Gaz de France will thus increase the security and diversification of its exploration and production portfolio.

Since 2005, Gaz de France has been the main buyer of Egyptian gas. Indeed, the Group has signed a 20-year LNG purchasing agreement with EGPC, EGAS, BG and Petronas, covering 4.8 billion cu. m of natural gas per year from the Idku liquefaction plant, east of Alexandria. Gaz de France also holds a 5% stake in the Idku liquefaction facility. (ANI)