French utility Engie is looking to offload its oil and gas assets in Indonesia and Malaysia as a package in a sale process being run by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, according to a document seen by Reuters.
Engie, which joins a number of European utilities in selling oil and gas exploration and production assets after a sharp drop in energy prices, is looking to raise up to $500 million from the sale, several banking sources close to the process said.
The first bidding round for the assets is scheduled to be completed in mid-June, a banking source said.
The package consists of five assets including a 33.3 percent working interest in the Muara Bakau offshore gas and very light oil project in Indonesia operated by Italy’s Eni. In Malaysia, Engie is selling 20 percent stakes in two exploration blocks, according to the document seen by Reuters.
“Engie’s preference is to divest the entire interests in its upstream portfolio in Indonesia and Malaysia in a single package,” the sales memorandum said.
Engie and Bank of America declined to comment.
Potential buyers include Asian oil firms such as Indonesia’s Pertamina, Malaysia’s Petronas, Thailand’s PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP) and Japan’s Inpex and Mitsui, as well as companies backed by private equity funds, the sources said.
Deal making in the oil and gas sector has significantly slowed down since the sharp fall in oil prices nearly two years ago while the number of assets on the market has climbed as companies seek to raise cash.
Other European utilities such as RWE, EDF , Enel and Centrica are also looking to sell upstream oil and gas assets.
In a separate process, the French utility, formerly known as GDF Suez, is selling its 60 percent stake in the Bonaparte natural gas project in Australia, one of the sources said.
Engie is not marketing its northwest European and North African assets but would be willing to consider offers for them, according to several of the sources.