Private equity fund Carlyle Group is considering the sale of Gabon-focused oil and gas producer Assala Energy to capitalise on surging global energy prices, reported Reuters, citing industry sources.

A potential sale of Assala could earn more than $1bn for Carlyle. Run by investment bank Citi, the sale process is anticipated to be launched in the coming weeks, according to two sources close to the process.

Carlyle’s energy arm Carlyle International Energy Partners invested in Assala in 2017, following the acquisition of Shell‘s Gabon assets for $628m.

Assala currently has a production capacity of approximately 50,000 barrels per day in the West African country, according to the news agency.

Created by Carlyle as an oil and gas exploration and production platform to focus on African energy opportunities, Assala Energy operates several production licences in Gabon.

Assala also owns a non-operator interest in the Tsiengui production licence, as well as production infrastructure including onshore pipelines and an export terminal at Gamba.

A diversified global investment firm, Carlyle purchased several oil and gas assets in the 2010s from companies such as BP, Shell, and Exxon Mobil.

Other investments of Carlyle include European refiner Varo Energy, and North Sea-focused Neptune Energy.

Earlier this year, Carlyle pledged to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 across investments.

The firm, which set short- and long-term climate goals, said it will continue to partner with firms to advance progress on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.