Cheiron PICO acquires a 50% stake in Sahara North Bahariya

Ahmed Al-Fayed
3 Min Read
In December, EGPC assigned an agreement with Apache and Shell Egypt with an investment to produce shale gas (AFP photo)

Cheiron, a subsidiary of the Egyptian conglomerate PICO Group, has acquired a 50% stake in Sahara North Bahariya Ltd, the owner of the North Bahariya Concession in the Western Desert, for $83m.

According to sources related to the deal, the acquired stake was sold by EFG Capital Partners Fund, which is affiliated to EFG-Hermes.

They revealed that the deal was concluded several days ago after the approval of the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC). Cheiron PICO paid the total value of the deal.

The sources added that this deal is the first investment conducted by Cheiron outside the Suez Gulf, pointing out that the North Bahariya field produces oil regularly and is not just an exploratory field.

The North Bahariya Concession covers an area of 177 sq km with six oil fields: Abrar, Ferdaus, Ganna, Rawda, Sadra, and Rayan.

The fields’ total production is estimated at more than 8,000 barrels of crude oil, with potential reserves of 31m barrels per day since June 2016.

The North Bahariya Concession has been offered for sale for six months, according to the sources. They said that two companies applied to purchase the concession and Cheiron managed to win the deal.

The Improved Petroleum Recovery Group (IPR) owns a 30% stake in Sahara North Bahariya, and INA Naftaplin owns 20% of the company’s shares. Therefore, Cheiron will take over the management of the concession.

The acquisition deal comes within Cheiron’s plan to expand and diversify its asset portfolio, according to the group’s website. After the acquisition, Cheiron’s production increased to 39,000 bpd, which is likely to increase as a result of the planned investments in the Suez Gulf fields and other asset acquisitions.

The French company ENGIE has sold the West El Burullus (WEB) offshore gas concession in Egypt to Cheiron on Monday. The deal involved transferring 100% of the concession rights of WEB to Cheiron and included BNP Paribas as a financial advisor of ENGIE.

The West El Burullus concession is located in the shallow waters of the Mediterranean Sea. It contains two gas and condensate discoveries, in addition to gas reserves of 200 billion cubic feet (bcf) and 3 million barrels (MMbbls) of condensates.

It is planned that the concession fields will produce 100 million cubic metres of gas per day by 2020.

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