Proposed acquisition of production, development and exploration interests in the Western Desert, the Arab Republic of Egypt

09 Mar 2021

Proposed acquisition of production, development and exploration interests in the Western Desert, the Arab Republic of Egypt

Cairn, together with Cheiron (its consortium partner), is pleased to announce the proposed acquisition of a portfolio of upstream oil and gas production, development and exploration interests from Shell Egypt NV and Shell Austria GmbH (Shell) (the “Assets”) in the Western Desert, onshore The Arab Republic of Egypt (the “Transaction” or the “Acquisition”) for a purchase price of US$646 million (US$323 million net to Cairn), with additional contingent consideration of up to US$280 million (US$140 million net to Cairn) if certain requirements are met. Capricorn Egypt, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cairn, will acquire 50% of the Assets, with the remaining 50% acquired by Cheiron. The Acquisition is in line with Cairn’s strategy of seeking to grow, diversify and extend its production base. The portfolio offers low cost production, near-term development and exploration potential, provides immediate operating cashflow contribution and adjusts our overall hydrocarbon split towards gas.

Transaction Highlights

  • Adds working interest 2P reserves of 113 mmboe as at 31 December 2020
  • Adds low-cost 2021 forecast working interest production of between 33,000-38,000 boepd with an opex/bbl of <US$6/boe, with significant potential to increase production levels in future years
  • Two-thirds of production from the Assets is gas weighted, adjusting Cairn’s current hydrocarbon split towards gas
  • Significant Cashflow from Operations (CFFO) contribution: average CFFO1 for previous three reported years (2017 – 2019) was ~US$140 million net to the interests being acquired by Cairn
  • Enhances near-term growth opportunities with 2C contingent resources working interest of 49 mmboe as at 31 December 2020 to Cairn and significant exploration potential remaining
  • Cairn, together with Cheiron, plans to finance the Acquisition with a new joint acquisition reserve-based lending facility of up to US$350 million, joint junior debt facility of US$100 million and existing cash on balance sheet
  • The economic effective date of the Acquisition is 1 January 2020. Production for the assets being acquired averaged 83,000 boepd (Cairn working interest of 41,500 boepd) in 2020

1 Cashflow from operations is a non-IFRS measure and excludes working capital movements. CFFO is presented in order for readers to understand the cash profitability.

Simon Thomson, Chief Executive of Cairn said:

"The proposed acquisition of Shell’s Western Desert assets in Egypt is an important step in our strategic ambition to expand and diversify our producing asset base, bringing material reserve and production additions and offering significant exploration potential.

We are delighted to be entering a country that has significant oil and gas growth opportunities where the Government has created an attractive environment for inward investment. Our Joint Venture with established Egyptian operator Cheiron creates a strong partnership with extensive experience and complementary strengths across the upstream value chain."


The proposed acquisition is a Class 1 transaction and subject to shareholder approval. Cairn will publish a circular to shareholders in due course setting out further details of the Transaction and convening the General Meeting, at which shareholder approval will be sought for the Transaction.

Rothschild & Co is acting as financial advisor and sponsor to Cairn in connection with the Transaction.

This summary should be read in conjunction with the full text of this announcement. Capitalised terms used in this announcement have the meanings given to them in the Appendix.

Expected timetable of events

Publication of combined Circular (including the Notice of General Meeting) and the Form of Proxy and despatch to Shareholders H1 2021
General Meeting H1 2021
Expected date of Completion H2 2021

Download announcement PDF


David Nisbet, Corporate Affairs
Tel: 0131 475 3000

Jonathan Milne, Linda Bain, Corporate Affairs
Tel: 0131 475 3000

Patrick Handley, David Litterick, Brunswick Group LLP
Tel: 0207 404 5959


There will be a live audio webcast of the presentation available to view on the website ( at 9am GMT. This can be viewed on PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone and Android mobile devices.

An 'on demand' version of the webcast will be available on the website as soon as possible after the event. This can be viewed on PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone and Android mobile devices.


The presentation slides will be available on the website from 7:00am GMT.

Conference call

You can listen to the presentation by dialling in to a listen only conference call at 9am GMT using the below dial-in details.

Dial-in details:

UK, local: +44 (0)330 336 9125
Code: 2525120


A transcript of the presentation will be available on the website as soon as possible after the event.

Notes to Editors

The information contained within this announcement is deemed by Cairn to constitute inside information as stipulated under the UK MAR. By the publication of this announcement via a Regulatory Information Service, this inside information is now considered to be in the public domain. The person responsible for arranging for the release of this announcement on behalf of Cairn is Mr James Smith, Chief Financial Officer.


This announcement has been issued by and is the sole responsibility of Cairn. The information contained in this announcement is for information purposes only and does not purport to be complete. The information in this announcement is subject to change.

This announcement has been prepared in accordance with English law, the MAR and the Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules and Listing Rules of the FCA and information disclosed may not be the same as that which would have been prepared in accordance with the laws of jurisdictions outside England.

N. M. Rothschild & Sons Limited ("Rothschild & Co"), which is authorised and regulated in the United Kingdom by the FCA, is acting exclusively for Cairn and for no-one else in connection with the contents of this announcement and exclusively for the Consortium in connection with the Transaction. Rothschild & Co will not regard any other person as its client in relation to the matters in this announcement and will not be responsible to anyone other than Cairn or the Consortium for providing the protections afforded to clients of Rothschild & Co nor for providing advice in connection with the contents of this announcement or the Transaction or any transaction, arrangement or other matter referred to in this announcement.

The contents of this announcement are not to be construed as legal, business or tax advice. Each Shareholder should consult their own legal adviser, financial adviser or tax adviser for legal, financial or tax advice respectively.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements

This announcement includes certain forward-looking statements with respect to the financial condition, results of operations and business of the Group and certain plans and objectives of the Board. These forward-looking statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate to any historical or current facts. Forward-looking statements often use words such as ''proposed'', ''anticipate'', ''expect'', ''estimate'', ''intend'', 'plan'', ''believe'', ''will'', ''may'', ''should'', ''would'', ''could'' or other words with a similar meaning. These statements are based on assumptions and assessments made by the Board in light of its experience and its perception of historical trends, current conditions, expected future developments and other factors it believes appropriate. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty and there are a number of factors that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, such forward-looking statements.

These forward-looking statements speak only as at the date of this announcement. Save as required by the requirements of the Listing Rules or the Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules of the FCA or otherwise arising as a matter of law or regulation, Cairn expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to disseminate after publication of this announcement any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the Group's expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

Neither the content of Cairn's website (or any other website) nor the content of any website accessible from hyperlinks on Cairn's website (or any other website) is incorporated into or forms part of this announcement.

Unless otherwise indicated, all references in this announcement to all references to ''US dollars'', ''US$'' and ''US cents'' are to the lawful currency of the United States.

About Cairn Energy PLC

Cairn is one of Europe's leading independent energy companies and has been listed on the London Stock Exchange for 30 years. Cairn has explored, discovered, developed and produced oil and gas in a variety of locations throughout the world as an operator and partner in all stages of the oil and gas lifecycle.

Cairn's exploration activities have a geographical focus in the North Sea, West Africa and Latin America, underpinned by interests in production and development assets. Cairn has its headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland supported by operational offices in London and Mexico.

For further information on Cairn please see: