Gaz de France has acquired a 45% stake in the Alam El Shawish West license in Egypt from Vegas Oil & Gas.

Covering 1,075 sq km, the license is located in the Abu Gharadig Basin (western desert), approximately 250km southwest of Alexandria. Several significant discoveries have already been made there, and an exploration program is still underway. Oil production is to begin very shortly, followed by natural gas production in the years to come. Vegas Oil & Gas will remain the operator for the license.

The transaction, which is still subject to approval by the Egyptian authorities, will enable the group, in line with a production sharing agreement, to increase its portfolio of reserves by at least 30 million of barrel of oil equivalent, according to preliminary estimates. This volume is subject to positive re-evaluation.

This new acquisition confirms the group’s position involvement in the natural gas sector in Egypt. Gaz de France has been present on Egyptian offshore since 2001. More specifically, the group has been operating the West El Burullus concession, off the coast of Alexandria, since 2005. The group has a 50% stake in this 1,364 sq km block, where a first exploration well will be drilled at the start of 2008.