PICO E&P to sign financing for asset development

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PICO E&P to sign financing for asset development

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is considering financing the continuing operations in Egypt of the hydrocarbon exploration and production branch of the PICO Group, PICO International Petroleum Group (PICO E&P).

PICO E&P is an Egyptian private oil and gas player, which holds assets in Egypt, Romania and Mexico. In Egypt, PICO E&P, directly or through its affiliates, owns interests in six offshore oil and gas assets: Zaafarana, Amal, Gemsa, Geisum and Tawila West, West Tawila Marine and South Ramadan.

In addition, PICO E&P owns interests in five onshore fields, formerly producing oil and gas fields in Romania, and an exploration, development and production service agreement in the Altamira area, Northern Mexico. PICO E&P and the PICO Group are private companies, owned by the Diab family, which has been operating businesses in Egypt for several decades.

IFC proposes to provide an up to US$75 million senior loan, as part of a larger reserve based lending facility of US$250 million, in favor of Cheiron Finance Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of PICO E&P. The mandated lead arrangers of the facility are HSBC, EBRD and IFC. The loan will be provided in two tranches, a commercial bank tranche of US$100million and an IFC and EBRD tranche of approximately US$150 million, shared 50/50 between the two institutions.

The two assets supporting the investment, Zaafarana and Amal, are located offshore Gulf of Suez, in shallow waters (25 to 50 m deep).

  • The Amal field is located in the southern province of the Gulf of Suez, approximately 55 km from the city of Ras Gharib, 15 km southwest from Morgan Oil field, and about 15 km offshore from the western shoreline. The license, covering 26.8 km2, was originally issued in 1981 and fully acquired by PICO in 1998.
  • The Zaafarana field is located in the north central Gulf of Suez, about 6.5 km from the shoreline. The license, covering 22.0 Km2, was originally issued in 1989 and since 1993 is managed by the Zaafarana Oil Company JV, for which PICO subsidiaries own 80% of the private shares.

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