Centrica confirmed yesterday it was moving to slim down its North Sea portfolio following the £1.3billion deal to take over Aberdeen-based Venture Production last year.
The energy company stressed its continued commitment to the North Sea and said it wanted to focus its resources and capital on the important fields that would create value to Centrica over the long term.
The firm – whose operations also include Scottish Gas – intends to sell stakes in some non-core UK fields after a review of its portfolio.
Some of the assets being offloaded come from the Venture acquisition, while others were already owned by Centrica. It has not said how much cash the sales could raise, but it may be about £400million.
It believed the assets being sold would be more valuable to other companies willing to invest in their potential.
Jonathan Roger, managing director of Centrica Energy Upstream, said: “We have one of the most active drilling programmes in the North Sea and so we remain very committed to our investment and development programme.
“It is because of our success and growth that we now have the opportunity and choice to sell or dilute our interests in some non-core assets.
“Selling or reducing our interest in these assets will help us focus resources on key assets and allow us to make further investments in the UK continental shelf.
“In the last 12 months, Centrica has spent more than £2billion on acquisitions of gas and oil assets in the UK, Trinidad and most recently in Norway.
“We . . . have a portfolio of more than 50 producing assets and a working interest in over 140 assets and prospects.”
Centrica is marketing a portfolio of non-operated southern North Sea interests including Ensign, Galleon, Saturn Area, Victor, Thames, Horne and Wren, and Davy East plus the Garnet, Opal and Endymion discoveries/prospects.
It is also marketing a portfolio of central and northern North Sea stakes as a separate package. This comprises non-operated interests in the producing Trees area, Brae area, Chestnut, Buckland and Skene fields and the West Wick and Cedar discoveries/prospects.
Centrica Energy Upstream has its HQ in Aberdeen, other UK offices at Windsor and Heysham and overseas in Norway, the Netherlands and Trinidad. It employs about 850, including 245 in the Granite City.