April 20, 2018 / 12:12 PM / a month ago

Yorktown selling Egypt oil business Merlon -sources

* Private equity firm hopes to raise up to $400mln

* Citigroup running process, bids expected by July

By Ron Bousso

LONDON, April 20 (Reuters) - Private equity firm Yorktown Partners is selling its Egyptian-focused oil and gas company Merlon International, hoping to raise up to $400 million, two banking sources told Reuters.

The process is being run by Citigroup and bids are expected to be finalized in July, according to one of the sources.

New York-based Yorktown Partners and Houston-headquartered Merlon did not respond to requests for comment by email and phone. Citi declined to comment.

Merlon produced around 7,900 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2017 from more than 50 wells in the El Fayum region, 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of Cairo, according to its website.

El Fayum has estimated recoverable resources of 125-150 million barrels and had produced around 18 million barrels by the end of last year.

The development concession was awarded in 2004 and the lease could be extended until 2040.

Interest in Egypt’s oil and gas sector has risen in recent years following a number of large gas offshore discoveries and economic reforms in the country.

BP is also seeking buyers for its stake in a 50-year-old onshore oil and gas business in Egypt as it focuses on newer deepwater gas fields off the country’s Mediterranean coast.

Reporting by Ron Bousso; Editing by Susan Fenton

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