The UK’s leading figure for the exploration and production sector has hailed BP’s mature asset handover to EnQuest as a positive sign of changes in the pipeline.
Mike Tholen of Oil and Gas UK made the comment following EnQuest’s acquisition of a 25% interest in the Magnus field from the energy giant. The firm also took a 3% share in the Sullom Voe Terminal (SVT) on Shetland.
Tholen, the head of upstream policy, said such handovers could become more commonplace as the Tier One operators move away from mature reserves.
He said:”We will see more mature fields passed onto operators.
“There will be further commercial changes to infrastructure ownership but there are only so many terminals and major pieces of infrastructure to hand over, so that will go at a different rate.
“It’s been a pretty torrid two years for the industry for obvious reasons. But the moving on of these assets show investors seizing the future.
“It’s a changing map of the North Sea but a positive one.”
Tholen said the milestone acquisition also marks further progression for EnQuest.
And he said the deal to hand over the rights to operate the field showed a level of trust and respect which is key to maximising economic recovery across the UKCS.
He said: “Clearly EnQuest is continuing to blossom and grow as a company. It is clearly increasing its footprint and creating its own little heartland at the top of the map.
“It’s becoming quite a significant player in its own right.
“For BP to want to pass an asset of this quality onto EnQuest they must see a good owner and have come to a commercial deal that works for the two of them.
“This is confirmation of EnQuest’s quality.”
EnQuest have an option on the Magnus/SVT deal to acquire the outstanding 75% interest in the Magnus.