Shell ‘Eying Tunisia Exit’: Reports

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Shell plans to divest the Tunisian gas production assets, according to reports.

Shell has declined to comment to NGW about a Reuters report May 18 that it was seeking to divest its stakes in the Miskar and Hasdrubal offshore gasfields acquired last year from BG, and might raise $500mn from a sale. Shell is more than halfway through a $30bn asset disposal programme.

Shell’s 2016 report gives no production data for Tunisia. But BG’s final 2015 annual report said its net production in Tunisia was 30,000 barrels of oil equivalent from its 100% interest in Miskar and 50% in Hasdrubal, noting that gross production from the fields provided over 65% of Tunisia’s domestic gas production. 

In 2015, Tunisian newspaper Le Temps reported that Eni, Shell and UK independent EnQuest had told the country’s industry ministry they planned to divest. (EnQuest already in February 2015 said it had exited from “its small investment in Tunisia” that produced 28,267 boe/d in 2014)

Le Temps also in 2015 reported that Eni had retained Credit Suisse to market its Tunisia E&P interests, chiefly its 50% stake in the Borj elKhadra field. According to its latest annual report, Eni’s net 2016 Tunisian production was 7,000 boe/d – of which 4,000 b/d liquids and 14.5mn ft³/d gas.  

However a source at Eni said it was now investing in Tunisia’s renewables sector, suggesting to NGW that it is no longer eying an E&P divestment.

 

Mark Smedley