Shell, NPIC join race for military-owned Wataniya Petroleum

Shaimaa Raafat
3 Min Read

Shell, the global oil giant, has formed an alliance with Saudi Aramco to bid for Wataniya Petroleum, a subsidiary of the National Service Products Organization (NSPO), which is owned by the Egyptian military. The government plans to sell its stake in Wataniya as part of its economic reforms.

Another contender for Wataniya is the North Petroleum International Company (NPIC), a wholly owned Egyptian subsidiary of the Chinese Zhen Hua Oil. NPIC is interested in expanding its presence in the Egyptian market, not only in the distribution sector, but also in the exploration and production of oil and gas.

According to informed sources who spoke to Daily News Egypt, there are four other competitors: TAQA Arabia, ADNOC from the United Arab Emirates, Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC), and Petromin. ADNOC’s offer is considered one of the best so far.

The sources said that the companies are still conducting due diligence on Wataniya, which was recently restructured by a team of advisors. The advisors created a new entity that owns 174 stations out of more than 300 stations that Wataniya operates. The remaining stations, which are of strategic importance, will be kept under the name “Wataniya.”

A document issued by the Information and Decision Support Center of the Cabinet stated that the government expects to finalize the deal in November. The document also said that the promotion of investors and the opening of the data room started in mid-March, and that eight out of 16 potential investors signed a non-disclosure agreement.

The document added that after receiving the binding offers, the final contracts will be negotiated. The payment by investors will be made entirely in dollars, except for Taqa Arabia’s offer, which includes paying partly in dollars and partly in pounds.

NPIC entered the Egyptian market in 2014. It invests in oil and gas research, exploration and production in several regions in the Eastern and Western Deserts through joint ventures with Egyptian companies. It also owns 100% of the East Ghazalat region in the Western Desert and has a 35% stake in West Alam El Shawish region in Western Sahara.

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