Delta has been active in the oil and gas sector since early 1990’s. Although our investment strategy has been focused primarily on the Exploration & Production sector, several downstream projects were initiated and evaluated in recent years. One of those projects was initiated in 2005 in partnership with BP plc’s petrochemicals and refining subsidiary, Innovene, for a major investment in Saudi Arabia’s petrochemical sector. The project was later abandoned following the sale by BP of its petrochemical business, however Delta remains committed to seek opportunities throughout the energy value chain, capitalising on the abondance of natural resources in our region and our ambition to contribute to the economies of our host countries.
The Delta Group, founded by its Chairman Badr Al-Aiban in 1978, has extensive experience in the international oil and gas industry.
On 20 September, 1994, Delta Oil and ten other foreign oil companies signed what became known as the “Contract of the Century”. The founding consortium of foreign oil companies, as members of the Azerbaijan International Operating Company (“AIOC”),and the national oil company of Azerbaijan, SOCAR, signed the Production Sharing Contract for the development of three major oil fields in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea (the Azeri, Guneshli and Chirag fields). The estimated combined recoverable reserves of these fields at the time was 4.6 billion barrels of oil. Delta’s interest in AIOC was sold in 1998 to Hess Corporation.
In 1995 Delta entered into an alliance agreement with US company, Unocal Corporation, which led to the formation of the Centgas consortium. Ultimately, Centgas involved several international oil and gas companies, including oil companies in Turkmenistan and Russia. The purpose of the consortium was to build a 1,500 kilometre long natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan and India via Afghanistan. The project was later abandoned as a result of Afghanistan’s unstable political situation.
In 1999, Delta Oil acquired a 26% shareholding in Centurion Energy International Inc., a dual-listed company traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the London AIM market (2003). Centurion was a Canadian exploration and production company with interests in Egypt, Tunisia and offshore West Africa. Mr Badr Al-Aiban was appointed to the board of directors of Centurion and proved instrumental in negotiating and securing key transactions for Centurion’s oil and gas operations. At the time of Delta Oil’s acquisition of its shareholding in Centurion, the company’s shares traded at approximately Can$0.50 to $0.60 per share. In 2007, Dana Gas JJSC from the United Arab Emirates bid Can$12.00 per share in an all cash transaction valuing the company’s equity in excess of Can$1 billion. Delta’s interest in Centurion was sold to Dana Gas as part of the offer.