UK North Sea oil and gas company EnQuest said today it had bought two companies holding an 8% total stake in the Alba oil field from Cieco of Japan for an initial £18.75million.
EnQuest will pay up to a further £500,000 if project targets at the field, about 130 miles north-east of Aberdeen, are met.
Reserves at Alba, which has produced around 400million barrels of heavy oil since 1994, were estimated last year at 5.9million barrels of oil equivalent net.
Production was 1,800 barrels of oil equivalent per day net for the first nine months of 2012.
EnQuest, which was awarded 11 licences in last year’s UK licensing round, took its expansion plans abroad in 2012, applying to operate in Norway and buying Malaysia-focused oil explorer Nio Petroleum.
The Alba field is operated by Chevron, which has a 23.37% interest.
Other partners are Mitsui 13.3%, Endeavour 25.68%, Statoil 17% and Centrica 12.65%.
The two companies acquired by EnQuest are Cieco Energy (UKCS) and Cieco Energy (CNS), which EnQuest said had combined assets worth £137.2million at the end of 2011.