North Africa remains a strategic growth area for upstream firm Dea following this week’s completion of the €5.1 bn ($5.7 bn) takeover of the former upstream arm of German power firm RWE by LetterOne (L1), an international investment vehicle headed up by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman.

The sale, which took effect 2 March, sparked controversy with the UK government. UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey threatened to block the deal on the basis that output from Dea’s North Sea fields could be shut in by possible future EU sanctions against Russia. London cited the example of the North Sea’s Rhum field – 50% owned by Iran’s NIOC – where production was halted by western sanctions on Iran in 2011. (CONTINUED - 987 WORDS)