BG Pre-empts Shell's Sale of Rosetta Stake Offshore Egypt

BG Group has finalized an agreement for the purchase of Shell Egypt N.V. and Shell Austria G.m.b.H's (collectively Shell's) interest in the Rosetta concession offshore Egypt. The transaction is subject to a number of conditions, including Egyptian Government approval.

On June 4, 2004, Shell and Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC) announced that they had reached an agreement for the sale to KUFPEC of Shell's 40 per cent stake in the BG Group operated Rosetta Concession in the Nile Delta. BG Group's pre-emption of the sale of Shell's stake will increase its equity interest in Rosetta from 40 to 80 per cent. The purchase price to BG Group is approximately US$ 235 million, based upon an economic effective date of 1 January 2003.

Stuart Fysh, BG Group's Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Mediterranean Basin and Africa, said: "This pre-emption provides us with an excellent opportunity to increase our position in a high quality, BG Group operated asset."

The Rosetta Concession includes the currently producing gas field and onshore/offshore plant, together with three development leases which are currently under negotiation and subject to government approval. These development leases contain discovered, undeveloped fields, from which output will eventually be sold under the Rosetta Gas Sales Agreement.

BG Group plc works across the spectrum of the gas chain. Active on five continents in some 20 countries, it operates four business segments – Exploration and Production, LNG, Transmission and Distribution and Power. BG is a significant holder of hydrocarbon reserves on the UK Continental Shelf, where it operates the Blake and Armada fields, as well as fields in the Easington Catchment Area. The company's core geographical areas are the UK, Egypt, North America, South America, Kazakhstan, India and Trinidad & Tobago.

BG is an important participant in the development of the gas business in Egypt, with both upstream and downstream investments. It has interests in two gas producing areas offshore the Nile Delta – the Rosetta fields and the West Delta Deep Marine (WDDM) Concession.

Rosetta started production in January 2001 and supplies the domestic market, as do the first WDDM fields - Scarab and Saffron – which started production in March 2003.

Rosetta has established a position as a flexible and reliable source of gas to the Egyptian domestic market. Phase Two of the Rosetta development will consist of an unmanned minimum facilities wellhead platform tied back to the existing Rosetta platform. First gas from the Phase Two project is scheduled to commence in 2005.

Before the announcement of the sale, the partner shares in Rosetta were BG (operator) – 40%, Shell – 40% and Edison – 20%. Following today's announcement and the successful completion of the transaction later this year, the partners shares will be BG (operator) – 80% and Edison – 20%.