Wishing to sell its 25% stake in the Marine XII oil block, located off the coast of the Republic of Congo, the British company New Age finally found a buyer with the Russian Lukoil, which thus gains a foothold in the Central African country.
The acquisition of shares in the offshore hydrocarbon project, which was worth 800 million dollars, was confirmed by the Russian giant in a press release published on Tuesday, September 10. Marine Block XII, located about 20 kilometres offshore, produces 28,000 barrels of oil per day and 1.7 million cubic metres of gas in the two fields of Nene and Litchendjili, in operation since 2015. The operation closes the negotiations initiated last June, New Age having indicated in November 2018 that it was seeking to divest itself of its stake in Marine XII. At the end of August, Lukoil announced his « impatience to see the transaction approved by the Congolese authorities ». This has now been done.
Founded in 2007 and domiciled in Jersey, New Age had controlled this stake in Marine XII since 2010, alongside the Italian ENI (65% of the oil block), which is the operator of the site – and is currently being tried in Italy for alleged corruption in its activities in Congo – and the Congolese public company SNPC (10%). For New Age, however, this withdrawal from Congo will have no impact on its other African activities, as the British firm has indicated that it will use the proceeds of this sale to strengthen its African portfolio, in particular the Marine III licences in Congo and Etinde in Cameroon.
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As for the giant Lukoil ($120 billion in revenue and $17 billion in EBITDA in 2018), this targeted acquisition reflects its desire to expand its activities on the continent, beyond its current operations in Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana and Egypt.