• Dea sells part of its share in West Nile Delta to partner BP
  • BP is operator of the West Nile Delta concessions
  • Dea has reduced its stake to 17.25 per cent

German energy company Dea has sold some of its stake in the Egypt’s biggest-ever oil and gas project to its UK-based partner BP, cutting its stake in the $12bn West Nile Delta field development scheme to 17.25 per cent across both of the project’s two concessions.

Previously it owned 40 per cent of the North Alexandria concession and 20 per cent of the West Mediterranean Deep Marine concession.

Dea announced the agreement on 18 May in a statement, saying that the deal remains subject to the approval of the Egyptian Petroleum Corporation (EGPC).

The first phase of the project, which will develop fields in the North Alexandria Concession, will start production in 2017 and is expected to produce 1.2 billion cubic feet a day (cf/d), approximately 25 per cent of Egypt’s current gas production.

In its statement, Dea said it was reducing its stake to “manage risk through greater portfolio diversification”.

Dea’s decision to reduce its stake in the project comes at the beginning of a capital intensive phase of the West Nile Delta project.

In March BP, the operator of the field development project, signed a deal to restart the West Nile Delta project after years of stalling.

Plans to develop the concession were put on hold in the wake of the country’s 2011 uprising and the government has struggled to make a deal to restart the project due to its large debts to foreign oil companies and the low price paid for domestically produced gas.

Dea was owned by the Germany-based energy company RWE until March this year when it was aquired by the Luxembourg-based global investment vehicle Letter One.

If the deal is approved BP will hold an 82.75 per cent stake in the West Nile Delta project.

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