Washington, D.C., December 8, 2004—The
International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World
Bank Group, has announced a $25 million investment in corporate facilities
for Melrose Resources plc (Melrose). The investment will finance Melrose’s
subsidiaries to support oil and gas operations in Bulgaria and Egypt. Melrose
has ongoing natural gas developments in the El Mansoura concession in Egypt
and the Galata concession in Bulgaria. IFC is making this investment in
partnership with commercial banks that will provide another $50 million
to these facilities.
Through its subsidiaries, Melrose has 50 percent and 46 percent non-operated
interests in Egypt’s El Mansoura and Qantara concessions, both in the
onshore Nile Delta. In the El Mansoura area, recent gas discoveries are
being brought into production and further appraisal and exploration for
gas reserves is ongoing. The hydrocarbons sector is a strong source of
foreign investment in Egypt and an important contributor to the country’s
GDP. IFC’s investment complements its regional strategy to work with private
companies in critical sectors of the economy.
In Bulgaria, Melrose subsidiaries Petreco S.a.r.l and Petreco Bulgaria
EOOD have begun natural gas production from the Galata gas field located
offshore Varna in the Black Sea, under the Galata Production Concession.
They are also exploring in two adjacent offshore exploration concessions
in the country. Melrose’s subsidiaries have a 100 percent interest in
all three concessions. The Galata gas field development is the first upstream
oil and gas development undertaken by the private sector in Bulgaria.
Rashad Kaldany, IFC’s director for Oil, Gas, Mining, and Chemicals, noted,
“I am very pleased to see IFC’s continued partnership with Melrose. Our
investments with the company have sought to support the respective natural
gas developments in Bulgaria and Egypt, promoting gas consumption as a
clean and convenient fuel. Companies like Melrose are important participants
in the natural gas sectors of these countries, helping develop domestic
gas reserves to meet growing demand, contributing additional revenues,
and creating employment and opportunities for use of local goods and services.”
Robert Adair, Chairman of Melrose, said, “We are delighted to have built
on our good relationship with IFC, which played a key role in enabling
Melrose to develop the Galata field in Bulgaria. The IFC team’s sector
and regional expertise has been of great benefit to Melrose in establishing
itself in Bulgaria and Egypt and the new corporate facility will help us
in our objectives to expand our operations in both countries.”
The mission of IFC (www.ifc.org)
is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries,
helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private
sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international
financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability,
and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.
From its founding in 1956 through FY04, IFC has committed more than $44
billion of its own funds and arranged $23 billion in syndications for 3,143
companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio
as of FY04 was $17.9 billion for its own account and $5.5 billion held
for participants in loan syndications.