BG Group To Sell Rimi Exploration Interests in Italy

BG Group plc has has agreed to sell its entire shareholding in BG Rimi S.p.A., to CPL Concordia Soc. Coop. ARL of Modena for 34 billion lire (£10.98 million).

BG Rimi's assets include nine exploration permits and 18 production concessions. In 2000 it had a net production of 72 million cubic meters of gas. BG is retaining 12 exploration licenses in the Po Valley, northern Italy and the Sicily Channel, southern Italy, and these have been transferred to BG Italia S.p.A.

Yvonne Barton, President, BG Italia S.p.A., said: 'This sale is part of BG Group's strategy of disposing of non-core assets. We have rationalized our exploration and production presence in Italy to concentrate our activities on larger exploration prospects in the Po Valley and the Sicily Channel. Our commitment to the Italian energy market is further supported by our Serene power generation activities and our plans to develop the Brindisi liquefied natural gas project.'

Roberto Casari, President, CPL Concordia S.p.A., said: 'This important acquisition is in line with CPL Concordia's strategy to be involved in the whole gas chain in Italy, following liberalization of the Italian gas market. CPL Concordia will increase the gas supply of its subsidiary Energia della Concordia with the acquisition of BG Rimi. This additional gas will be sold in the national market to consumers of over 200,000 cubic meters per annum. Furthermore, this supply will be increased through gas import contracts currently being developed for an approximate amount of two billion meters per year.'

The sale is expected to be completed at the end of November 2001 and is payable in cash.