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Shell appoints Citi for $1 billion sale of Egypt assets - sources

By Ron Bousso
FILE PHOTO: Shell branding at a petrol station in West London

By Ron Bousso

LONDON (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell <RDSa.L> has appointed investment bank Citi to run the sale of its onshore Egyptian oil and gas assets which could fetch around $1 billion (£781.5 million), sources close to the process said.

The sale process is expected to be officially launched at the end of November, the sources said.

Shell said last month it plans to sell its onshore upstream assets in the Western Desert to focus on expanding its Egyptian offshore gas exploration.

The Western Desert portfolio includes stakes in 19 oil and gas leases of which Shell's working interest included production of around 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day last year, one of the sources said.

Shell declined to comment. Citi also declined to comment.

Egypt's oil and gas sector has seen a rapid expansion in recent years after the discovery of vast offshore gas reserves has drawn major investments from international companies including Eni <ENI.MI> and BP <BP.L>.

At the same time, Egypt's ageing oil and gas assets have changed hands. BP earlier this year sold its decades-old stake in the Gulf of Suez Petroleum Company (GUPCO) to Dubai-based Dragon Oil Ltd.

(Reporting by Ron Bousso; editing by David Evans)