x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

RAK Petroleum broadens assets into West Africa

RAK Petroleum has bought a small oil company with assets in Cote d'Ivoire, expanding its footprint beyond the Middle East.

RAK Petroleum, the UAE energy company with stakes in regional oilfields, has broadened its asset base to include West Africa with an acquisition in the Ivory Coast.

The company announced yesterday it had bought out Mondoil Enterprises, a small American oil company with an indirect 8 per cent interest in a block in the Ivory Coast that is home to the nation's biggest gasfield.

The acquisition broadens RAK's assets out from the Middle East, where it holds a 42.8 per cent stake in the Norwegian producer DNO, which operates in the Kurdish region of Iraq, Yemen and Oman, among other places.

"The Mondoil Enterprises acquisition expands RAK Petroleum's footprint beyond our shareholding in DNO International," said Amir Handjani, a member of RAK Petroleum's board of directors.

"In addition to strong cash flow from the established Foxtrot and Mahi gasfields, the ongoing development of the Marlin oil and gasfield and of the Manta gasfield, also within the license area, offer exciting growth opportunities for RAK Petroleum."

Before the acquisition was signed last month, Mondoil was already connected to RAK Petroleum through Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani, the chairman of both companies as well as of DNO.

RAK also announced a jump in annual profits to Dh271.6 million, up from Dh15.7m the year before.

The increase came as RAK completed a merger with DNO, transforming it from the holder of a handful of fields in the UAE and Oman to an investor with holdings, through DNO, in assets as diverse as the Kurdish region of Iraq and Yemen, and more recently Somaliland.

Although investment in the Ivory Coast's hydrocarbons sector has suffered during years of civil war, demand for power is now forecast to grow by 7 per cent a year, prompting the expansion of the Foxtrot gasfield, the nation's largest. The World Bank is backing Foxtrot's development through US$437m of investment guarantees.