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Competition Authority Opens Investigation Into Galp’s Sale of Rovuma Basin Assets

Competition Authority Opens Investigation Into Galp’s Sale of Rovuma Basin Assets

The Competition Regulatory Authority (ARC) has opened a public inquiry on the sale of Galp’s position in the consortium researching natural gas in the Rovuma basin to the Arab group ADNOC, the Lusa news agency reported on Monday 3 June.

In a notice published today, ARC states that it received on 27 May, with effect from 30 May, a ‘notification of a concentration of companies’, a deal valued by Portuguese oil company Galp at 41.1 billion meticals (600 million euros).

The operation in question consists of the acquisition by ADNOC International, a subsidiary 100% owned by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), of ‘exclusive control over Galp Energia Rovuma’, currently owned by Galp Energia, Portugal Holdings and Galp East Africa, ‘jointly the sellers’.

The information from the competition regulator states that ADNOC International is a company incorporated in Abu Dhabi, affiliated to and 100% owned by ANDOC PJSC, ‘the parent company of a diversified group, 100% owned by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi’, with a presence in the energy and petrochemicals sector and which ‘operates throughout the hydrocarbon value chain, through a network of fully integrated companies’.

‘Any comments on the concentration in question should be sent to the Competition Regulatory Authority within 15 days,’ reads the notice of public consultation.

On 23 May, the National Petroleum Institute (INP) considered Galp’s withdrawal from the consortium researching natural gas in the Rovuma basin to be normal, stating at the time that the Portuguese oil company still had to formally communicate the decision to the authorities.

‘It’s not something extraordinary, concessionaires are free to negotiate directly or indirectly about their stakes in consortia,’ said the president of INP, Nazário Bangalane.

‘In the meetings we’ve had with Galp, there has been this pretence. However, it has procedures. The Portuguese company will officially submit the process to be analysed at government level and then we will know the real amounts involved in the operation,’ he continued.

Galp reached an agreement with the United Arab Emirates oil company ADNOC to sell its position in the consortium researching natural gas in the Rovuma basin, for almost 41.1 billion meticals (600 million euros).

In a statement to the Portuguese Securities Market Commission (CMVM), Galp announced that it will sell its 10% stake in Area 4 in Mozambique, an operation that should be finalised by the end of the year, following its ‘disciplined’ investment strategy.

‘Area 4 includes the Coral South FLNG (floating platform), operating since 2022, as well as the onshore developments in the prospective Coral North FLNG and Rovuma LNG, both expected to be approved in 2024/2025,’ the document said.

Area 4 is operated by Mozambique Rovuma Venture (MRV), a joint venture co-owned by ExxonMobil, Eni and CNPC (China), which holds a 70 per cent interest in the concession contract.

Galp, Kogas (South Korea) and ENH – Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (Mozambique) each have a 10 per cent stake.

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