Edison looks to sell part of Egypt's Abu Qir field

Reuters , Thursday 14 Jan 2016

The logo of French state-owned electricity company EDF is pictured at the World Nuclear Exhibition 2014, the trade fair event for the global nuclear energy sector, in Le Bourget, near Paris October 15, 2014.(Reuters)

Edison, Italy's No. 2 energy company owned by France's EDF, is trying to sell part of its Abu Qir field in Egypt and has opened the books to prospective buyers including Kuwait's KUFPEC, people familiar with the matter said.

Edison, which paid around $1.4 billion for the field in 2009, owns all exploration and production rights at Abu Qir but manages it in a joint venture with Egypt's EGPC.

"The data room is open and KUFPEC is one of at least four companies that have had a look," one source said.

A second source also reported the Kuwaiti company's interest along with others but said the fall in oil prices was slowing the process.

In comments sent to Reuters, Edison said it might reduce its stake in Abu Qir while remaining operator of the concession.

"Within its portfolio management activity, Edison is considering reducing its stake in Abu Qir, but keeping the majority and remaining in Egypt as long-term operator," a spokeswoman said.

Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC), owned by Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, was not available for comment.

Last year, Edison's then CEO Bruno Lescoeur said Egypt was a key market for the international activities of the company which had invested $2 billion in upgrading business there.

But EDF is selling billions of euros of assets to bolster its balance sheet and fund nuclear and renewable energy operations, and analysts believe upstream oil and gas operations could be sold.

Abu Qir currently produces around 45,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Its gas production has doubled from 140 to 270 million cubic feet per day.

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