On 24th March, Shell announced the sale of its onshore Gabon assets to Assala Energy Holdings (a portfolio company backed by Carlyle Group).
Assala will pay USD587 million and assume debt of USD285 million, taking “enterprise value” to c.USD870 million. Shell will also receive up to a further USD150 million in contingent payments depending on oil prices and performance. This compares with a Wood Mackenzie NPV10 of c.USD600 million and implies that some value being placed on the gas resources.
The onshore portfolio comprises c.60mmbbl of oil (commercial) and c.160bcf of contingent gas. The gas is currently undeveloped due to a limited market, but could one day be used to supply local power generation. The portfolio produces c.35mbopd of and Shell Trading will retain lifting rights from the assets for the next five years.
The licences being acquired are a mix of PSCs and concessions with some of the concessions being converted into PSCs over the last 10-20 years when they came up for renewal. The licences are owned directly and indirectly through a JV with the Gabonese government (75% Shell, 25% State). The largest asset in the portfolio is Toucan which commenced production in 2003 – significant investment was made between 2012-2014 as part of an additional phase of development to extend the field life to c.2030.
The offshore licences (BC9 and BC10) are excluded from the same, where Shell made the large Leopard-1 discovery in 2014 which is estimated to contain close to 1tcf of recoverable gas.