UK contractor quits Tunisia asset

01 July 2018
Firm sells its stake in Mediterranean gas field to European E&P company

UK-based oil and gas contractor Petrofac has announced that it has decided to sell its entire stake in the Chergui gas field development in Tunisia’s Mediterranean waters.

Petrofac holds 45 per cent interest in the asset. In a statement the firm has said it will sell its entire stake to Anglo-French exploration and production (E&P) company Perenco.

The deal is expected to conclude before the end of the year.

All of Petrofac’s employees working on the Chergui project will be transferred to Perenco as part of the transaction.

The Chergui field is an offshore gas/condensate field located on the island of Chergui, 25 kilometres from the Tunisian city of Sfax. Briitsh E&P firm BG discovered the field in 1992.

Development was initiated in 2002, although the project was subject to many setbacks. This led to a long delay in producing first gas which was not achieved until August 2008.

The previous operator, Austria’s OMV, decided to divest the asset because of the development delays. Its interest was acquired by Petrofac in November 2006, for a cash consideration of approximately $30m.

The field was brought onstream in August 2008. After de-bottlenecking the plant and the commissioning of a new refrigeration unit, production exceeded name plate capacity and has continued to produce above this level.

Gas is transported onshore near Sfax from the Central Processing Facility, while condensate is shipped via ferry to the coast and then trucked to facilities.

Petrofac is expected to book a small gain on the transaction, it said without specifying which period’s financial results will reflect the revenue addition.

‘This sale marks another milestone in the Group's [Petrofac] strategy to transition back to a capital light business model by divesting non-core assets’, the firm said in its statement.

The company has announced winning $1.8bn in new contract orders in the first half of 2018.

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