Ashurst advises Massader Natural Resources & Infrastructure Development Co.
Ashurst has advised Massader for Natural Resources and Infrastructure Development Co, the energy and infrastructure arm of the Palestine Investment Fund (“PIF”), on the sale and purchase arrangements relating to the restructuring of rights in the development licence for the Gaza Marine gas field, located 30km off the coast of the Gaza Strip.
Pursuant to the decision of the Palestinian Cabinet of Ministers approving Shell’s exit from Gaza Marine and the restructuring of the rights in the development licence for the gas field, PIF reached an agreement with BG Great Britain Limited, an affiliate of Royal Dutch Shell PLC, on its divestment from the Gaza Marine development licence. Following completion of this transaction with Shell, PIF received rights for 90% of the Gaza Marine licence.
Under the new structure approved by the Cabinet of Ministers for the Gaza Marine licence, PIF and Consolidated Contractors Company (“CCC”) will each hold 27.5 per cent of the development rights pursuant to existing options under the licence agreement, and an international operator will hold 45 per cent.
The new structure gives momentum to the development of one of Palestine’s most vital, strategic assets. Gaza Marine’s development is central to PIF, its development partner, and the State of Palestine’s vision for domestic energy security backed by a thriving energy sector. Gaza Marine would satisfy Palestine’s market demand for gas—fuelling power plants in Gaza and Jenin—and enable Palestine to become an energy exporter.
PIF, together with its investment partner CCC Oil and Gas Ltd., a subsidiary of CCC, will focus their efforts on identifying a capable international operator, advancing gas sales agreements and preparing a field development plan with the selected operator.
The Ashurst team was led by global co-head of oil and gas Renad Younes, assisted by associate Josh Cornally.
Commenting on the transaction, Renad Younes said, “It was a pleasure working with the PIF team and Massader on this strategically important transaction and we look forward to continuing to support the team with the development of the field.”