Shell Egypt has set out plans to sell its onshore assets in the Western Desert.
The company said this would allow it to concentrate on its offshore work and integrated gas developments in the North African state. Talks will be held with potential buyers during the fourth quarter.
Shell Egypt remains “committed to Egypt and see our future in supporting the government’s energy hub vision by growing Shell positions across the offshore and LNG value chain. This is where we can best leverage our expertise, deliver the strongest added value to Egypt, and optimise our portfolio to ensure the company delivers a world class investment case,” said Shell Upstream’s director Wael Sawan.
In the offshore, the company is pressing ahead with its West Delta Deep Marine (WDDM) Phase 9B project, which involves the drilling of eight development wells. It also has plans for “exploration in WDDM, for which a second offshore rig has been recently mobilised, that will be followed up with exploration in Rosetta as well as the recently awarded Blocks 4 and 6”, Shell Egypt’s country chair Khaled Kacem said.
A buyer would “bring new investment and growth into the Western Desert and build on our successful partnership with the Egyptian General Petroleum Corp. [EGPC]. Any sale is contingent on finding an appropriate buyer, commercial negotiations and required approvals,” Kacem continued.
In addition to its offshore assets, Shell Egypt is also holding on to its stake in the two-train 7.2 million tonne per year Egyptian LNG (ELNG) plant and its downstream lubricants business.
Shell’s move in this regard, selling down mature onshore assets while focusing on projects with a chance of greater returns, is in line with the broader sentiment around Egyptian investments. The Anglo-Dutch company has been somewhat slower off the mark in its Egyptian work, trailing Eni and BP, but improved terms for gas sales have made the country more attractive.