Shell Sells Offshore Pakistan Stake to Premier Oil

Shell Development and Offshore Pakistan BV (Shell) is pleased to announce that Premier Oil Pakistan Offshore BV (Premier) and Kufpec Pakistan BV (Kufpec) have agreed to acquire 50% of Shell's 95% working interest in Block 2365-1 Offshore Indus E, a deepwater oil exploration license in the Indus basin, approximately 150 kilometers south of Karachi.

The new partnership, finalisation of which is subject to regulatory approvals, will comprise Shell (47.50%), Premier (23.75%), Kufpec (23.75%), and Government Holdings (Private) Ltd (GHPL 5%). As a result of this agreement, investment in exploration activity is expected to rise significantly from the Shell/Government Holdings Joint Venture’s present commitment of US$2 million to over US$11 million during the current license period.

Farooq Rahmatullah, Chairman Shell Companies in Pakistan and Managing Director of Shell Pakistan Ltd said: "We are delighted to announce the formation of this new partnership and the resultant increased investment in Pakistan's oil and gas sector. With the support of our new partners, we are able to pursue a more ambitious exploration program than had been previously planned.

"Shell and its new joint venture partners, Premier and Kufpec, along with GHPL, now intend to carry out a 3-D seismic survey over sections of Block 2365-1 in 2003-4 to better understand whether they might have the potential to hold commercially recoverable volumes of hydrocarbons. If these results are promising we will consider whether to move towards the next phase of exploration."