Independent oil and gas firm EnQuest today announced a near-£60million deal which will give it a 20% stake in the UK North Sea Kraken discovery.
EnQuest is to buy two companies from private equity-owned explorer Canamens for £29million, with a further £29million to be paid when a field development plan for Kraken is approved.
This will give the firm a 20% interest in blocks 9/2b and 9/2c, including the east of Shetland Kraken discovery, operated by Nautical Petroluem.
It is estimated to contain 160million of recoverable reserves. Flow tests carried out last year indicated the field could flow at more than 8,000 barrels per day.
The deal, subject to regulatory approval, will also see EnQuest, which employs about 260 people in Aberdeen and about 1,000 offshore, gain stakes in another two blocks containing “further potential exploration upside”, it said.
Amjad Bseisu, EnQuest’s chief executive, said: “Following EnQuest’s recent sanctioning of the Alma and Galia development, our encouraging results from the Crathes exploration well, our recent farm-in to the Kildrummy discovery, and now our entry into the Kraken opportunity, EnQuest is starting 2012 with strong positive momentum and an exciting portfolio of development opportunities.
“Using the operator’s estimates, the Kraken blocks 9/2b and 9/2c immediately add over 30% to EnQuest’s end-2010 contingent resources.
“It also gives us potential upside from the surrounding exploration opportunities. We look forward to working with Nautical, the operator, to assist in taking the project forward.”
Canamens is an oil and gas exploration and development company which has been focused on the UK North Sea and Morocco.
It has two major shareholders, Sector Exspec and Goldman Sachs Strategic Investments.
The firm said it was expected a field development plan for Kraken would be approved by the Department of Energy and Climate Change in the second half of this year.
Nautical has a 50% interest, with the remaining 30% held by First Oil of Aberdeen.