London-listed, Vietnam-focussed Soco announced on 20 September that it has reached an agreement to purchase Houston-based Merlon for $215mn. Merlon’s sole asset is the 7,900 b/d El Fayoum concession in Egypt’s Western Desert.

US private equity firm Yorktown Partners was earlier looking to raise $400mn through the sale of its 72% Merlon stake (MEES, 11 May). El Fayoum is 80km southwest of Cairo on the west bank of the Nile. The field started up in 2010 at a rate of 7,000 b/d, increasing to 10,000 b/d in 2016 before the latest dip which Soco says was due to reduced drilling activity, water breakthrough and operational issues. (CONTINUED - 171 WORDS)