Majority stake in Brazilian gas distributor sold for US $1.8 million

INTERNATIONAL natural gas operator BG Group has agreed to sell its 60.1 per cent interest in Brazil’s largest gas distributor, Comgas, to Cosan for US$1.8 billion.
BG Group and Brazilian conglomerate Cosan signed a Memorandum of Understanding on May 3 and, subject to partner consent, both companies plan to execute a definitive sale agreement in the near term. The transaction, which will be subject to regulatory approval, is likely to be completed by the end of 2012. “This memorandum of understanding is another important step in our ongoing portfolio rationalisation and funding diversification programs, underpinning delivery of the wealth of opportunities
we have across our global portfolio,” BG Group chief executive Sir Frank Chapman said in a statement.
“We look forward to concluding this deal as part of our plans to release some $5 billion of capital in the next two years through strategic divestments.” Comgas is owned by BG Group, Shell (18.1 per cent), and the public through a listing on the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange.
This announcement followed the news that BG Group had achieved another key project delivery milestone for 2012 with the first phase of development at the Margarita gas field in Bolivia, of which it owns a 37.5 per cent interest. “Margarita Phase 1, delivered safely and to plan, will give BG Group additional net production of some 17,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), taking total net production from Margarita to over 25 000 boepd,” Sir Chapman said.
“Already this year we have delivered new production from projects in Egypt, Norway and Thailand and, together with the successful start-up of Margarita Phase 1, these developments keep us on track with our program to deliver [an] average 6 per cent to 8 per cent per annum production growth through to 2020.” Margarita Phase 1 involved the construction of a new 77km network of gas gathering and export pipelines, four wells
and gas processing facilities.
A second phase of development at the Margarita gas field was sanctioned in July 2011 and will comprise the installation of a new processing train, flowlines and at least three additional development wells. Margarita Phase 2 will increase BG Group’s net production from the Margarita field to about 42,000boepd by the end of 2014.


By Jaimee Conn

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