US-based private equity company Riverstone Holdings is reportedly looking to buy up to half of Aberdeen-based Fairfield Energy and use it as a vehicle for creating a new North Sea oil firm.
Riverstone, whose European arm is run by former BP chief executive Lord Browne, and Fairfield were said yesterday to be in advanced talks.
Fairfield chief executive Ian Sharp said he was unable to comment.
He reiterated a previous announcement from Fairfield that fundraising talks with existing and potential new investors were at an advanced stage.
In November, Fairfield said it hoped to secure more than £95million from investors to fund development plans in the North Sea and other talks could lead to £354million of new funding.
Fairfield withdrew an initial public offering last year after plans to raise up to £340million from a flotation were hampered by the uncertain global economy, but the firm has said it could try to float again in 2014.
Fairfield has its headquarters at Dyce, but is moving to Westhill.