UK’s Chrysaor buys North Sea oil assets from ConocoPhillips



USA energy group ConocoPhillips has agreed to sell its oil and gas assets in the British North Sea to private equity-backed Chrysaor for $2.68 billion (£2.06 billion), Conoco said on Thursday, making Chrysaor the biggest producer in the region this year.

In 2017 the private equity backed Chrysaor bought North Sea assets from Shell to £3bn.

Chrysaor said the deal, which will be backdated to start in January previous year and which is subject to regulatory approval, would bring it up to 177,000 boed pro forma in 2018 and 185,000 boed in 2019. This is expected to increase even further to more than 185,000 this year through new drilling and development programmes.

The purchase will add three material assets to its portfolio, including Britannia and J-Block - two new operated hubs in the UK Central North Sea - along with an interest in the Clair Field area located in the "highly prospective" West of Shetlands region.

A spokesman for the firm said a workforce consultation get underway upon completion of the deal towards the end of the year and the number will be decided at a later date.

The company will keep its commercial trading business based in London as well as a 40.25% interest and operatorship of the Teesside refinery in England.

In the UK Southern North Sea, Chrysaor will assume responsibility for an ongoing decommissioning program on ConocoPhillips UK's end‐of‐life assets.

The deal marks another milestone as traditional oil majors slowly abandon their unloved North Sea assets where supplies are dwindling.

The sales price was $2.68 billion.

"This significant acquisition reflects our continuing belief that the UK North Sea has material future potential for oil and gas production", said Chrysaor chief executive Phil Kirk in a statement.

Following reports last night the firms confirmed the deal this afternoon, saying it will accelerate Chrysaor's plans to become one of Europe's leading independent exploration and production companies.

Conoco CEO Ryan Lance: "We are extremely proud of the legacy we've built in the United Kingdom over the last 50 years and are pleased that Chrysaor recognises the value of this business".

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