Petronas buys Edison's assets

02 May 2003
Edison Internationalof Italy has agreed to sell the majority of its Egyptian gas assets to Petronasof Malaysia for Eur 1,600 million ($1,750 million), the company announced shortly before a shareholders' meeting on 29 April. Seven companies submitted bids in March for the assets, which include a 50 per cent stake in the West Delta Deep Marine concession and a 35.5 per cent stake in the Egyptian Liquefied Natural Gas (ELNG)project at Idku. The Egyptian government still has to approve the sale, which will be backdated to include all effects from 1 January (MEED 25:4:03).

The other partner in the West Delta concession is BG Groupof the UK, which also holds an equal 35.5 per cent stake in the project at Idku. The first ELNG train will use gas from the Scarab and Saffron fields in the West Delta concession, which has so far yielded 16 consecutive discoveries of gas and condensate. Holding some 370 billion cubic metres of proven reserves, it is the largest offshore integrated natural gas project in the Mediterranean (MEED 10:1:03).

Edison has retained its stake in the offshore Rosetta field, which came on stream in January 2001 and is building up output to the daily contract volume of 275 million cubic feet a day (cf/d). The sale of the West Delta and LNG assets is part of an ongoing restructuring in order to pay off outstanding debts. Edison is also looking to sell some of its subsidiaries, including engineering firm Tecnimont and telecoms company EdisonTel.

Petronas, by contrast, is planning to expand its overseas operations. The company is already active in the North African energy market, where it holds a 16 per cent stake in Egypt's North East Mediterranean Deep Water (Nemed) block and a 64 per cent stake in the Ahnet gas project in Algeria. The latest acquisition 'provides a high-quality foundation for Petronas to further develop its gas business in North Africa and the Middle East', the company said in a statement.

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