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Dana Gas Reverses Plans to Sell Concessions in Egypt's Niger Delta Region

Dana Gas PJSC, a United Arab Emirates energy company, will keep all of its natural gas concessions in Egypt’s Nile River delta region, reversing a plan to sell stakes there because of operational success and production increases.

Output in Egypt rose 20 percent to 42,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day in 2010, Dana Gas said today in a statement to the Abu Dhabi stock exchange. The company last year said it planned to sell as much as 30 percent of the concessions.

Dana, based in the U.A.E. sheikdom of Sharjah, develops gas deposits, production and transport facilities in Egypt, the Kurdish area of northern Iraq and its home country. The company, which pumps most of its natural gas in Egypt, aimed to announce an agreement by the end of last year to sell stakes in Egyptian exploration and production concessions, Chief Executive Officer Ahmed Al Arbeed said in an interview Nov. 10.

Successful exploration in Egypt and the rise in production “reinforces our view of the remaining potential of this first- class acreage and thus confirms to us that retention of our 100 percent interest will deliver the maximum value to our shareholders,” Al Arbeed said in the statement.

The company aims to drill 14 wells in Egypt this year. Dana Gas made seven new field discoveries in 2010 in the Nile Delta region from eleven exploration wells, it said.

Dana Gas had been in talks with bidders and was seeking to determine the best offer, Al Arbeed said in November. Standard Chartered Plc was advising on the transaction. The company expects to earn a profit for the full year, in line with its results for the first three quarters, Al Arbeed said in November.

The company had set itself a target to boost production by 20 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anthony Dipaola in Dubai at adipaola@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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