Assala Energy to buy Shell’s Gabon onshore interests for $587 million

Assala Energy Holdings Ltd., a portfolio company of global alternative asset manager Carlyle Group, has agreed to acquire all of Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s onshore oil and gas operations and related infrastructure in Gabon for $587 million.

Assala Energy Holdings Ltd., a portfolio company of global alternative asset manager Carlyle Group, has agreed to acquire all of Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s onshore oil and gas operations and related infrastructure in Gabon for $587 million.

The deal, expected to close midyear, comprises the operated Rabi, Toucan-Robin, Gamba-Ivinga, Koula-Damier, and Bende-M’Bassou-Totou fields; interest in nonoperated Atora, Avocette-M’Boukou, Coucal, and Tsiengui West fields; and associated infrastructure of the onshore pipeline system from Rabi to Gamba and the Gamba Southern export terminal.

Shell onshore in Gabon produced 41,000 boe/d in 2016. Shell Trading (STASCO) will continue to have lifting rights from the assets for the coming 5 years.

Assala Energy will also assume $285 million in debt as part of the deal. The firm will make additional payments of as much as $150 million depending on production performance and commodity prices. The deal will result in an impairment charge of $53 million post tax, which will be taken in the first quarter.

Assala Energy Holdings will acquire the assets with equity from Carlyle International Energy Partners (CIEP) and Carlyle Sub-Sahara Africa Partners (SSA).

Shell advances divestment program

Andy Brown, Shell’s upstream director, commented, “Shell is very proud of the strong legacy we have built in Gabon over the past 55 years. The decision to divest was not taken lightly, but it is consistent with Shell’s strategy to concentrate our upstream footprint where we can be most competitive. Shell will continue to pursue opportunities in Sub Saharan Africa.

“Together with recent divestments in the UK, Gulf of Mexico, and Canada, this transaction shows the clear momentum behind Shell’s $30 billion divestment program, and it helps us to high-grade and simplify our upstream portfolio following the acquisition of BG.”

Shell also this month agreed to divest nearly all of its Canadian oil sands interests for $7.25 billion (OGJ Online, Mar. 9, 2017). In January, it agreed to sell oil and gas assets in the UK North Sea and Thailand for nearly $5 billion (OGJ Online, Jan. 31, 2017).

Last year’s gulf divestment comprised 100% of the record title interest in Green Canyon Blocks 114, 158, 202, and 248, including Shell’s Brutus and Gilder assets, for $425 million in cash (OGJ Online, Aug. 29, 2017). The firm, however, maintains an active presence in the US gulf.

Just this week, Shell led all firms in central gulf Lease Sale 247, winning 20 bids amounting to $55.9 million, including the single highest apparent bid of $24.1 million on Atwater Valley Block 64 as well as $5.1 million on Mississippi Canyon Block 845 (OGJ Online, Mar. 22, 2017).

Contact Matt Zborowski at matthewz@ogjonline.com.

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