Trap Oil said today it was acquiring a 15% stake in the North Sea Athena development from Dyas UK for £34.5million, in the “game-changing” deal it had chased since the firm floated nearly a year ago.
Athena, 112 miles north-east of Aberdeen, is expected to start producing for Trap and its partners – Ithaca Energy (UK), Dyas, EWE Aktiengesellschaft and Zeus Petroleum – by the end of June.
Announcing its first acquisition of a producing asset, Trap said: “Athena represents the game-changing, cash generative production deal that we have been pursuing since our IPO (initial public offering).
Mark Groves Gidney, chief executive, added: “The company is now well-positioned to achieve its mission of becoming a significant, well-rounded, independent UKCS (UK continental shelf)-focused oil and gas business.”
Athena’s core development area has an estimated 14.3million barrels, unaudited, of recoverable oil.
It is operated by Ithaca, which has a 22.5% stake. Trap’s share will leave Dyas with 32.5% and EWE and Zeus on 20% and 10% respectively.
Trap’s acquisition is in three stages, with an initial £3million payment followed by a second instalment of £21million on completion, giving the firm a 10% stake in the field.
The remaining 5% involves a further payment of £10.5million, expected to be funded from production, which is due before October 31.
Trap raised £60million when it listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market last April.
In July, it announced its acquisition of Reach Oil and Gas from north-east husband-and-wife team Miles Newman and Isabel Davies for £30million – paving the way for plans to make the firm one of the most active explorers in the North Sea within two years.
Its focus then turned to identifying and acquiring producing assets to provide the cash it needed to support exploration plans, which in 2012 will see six wells drilled.