Oil & Gas

Wintershall to sell package of offshore Norway assets for $602 mln

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UK-based Sequa Petroleum has reached agreement to buy a portfolio of Norwegian offshore field interests for $602 million from Wintershall, the oil and gas subsidiary of BASF, the companies said on Thursday.

Sequa said the transaction will be conducted by Oslo-based Tellus Petroleum Invest A/S, which it is also buying in a concurrent deal for $4 million plus 6 million shares in Sequa.

The agreement with Wintershall will give Tellus interests in five fields – 20 percent of Knarr, 15 percent of Maria, 10 percent of Yme, 6.5 percent of Ivar Aasen and 4.5 percent of Veslefrikk.

Wintershall will remain operator for the Maria development, retaining a 35 percent interest.

Proven and probable reserves being acquired are estimated to be a net 59 million barrels of oil equivalent, based on data from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorat, the company said.

The package Wintershall is selling also includes equity stakes in seven exploration licences in the vicinity of Knarr, Maria and Ivar Aasen as well as in the Barents Sea, and shares in three pipelines, Utsira High and Edvard Grieg for oil, and Knapp for gas.

Closing is expected at end of 2015 retroactive to Jan. 1, 2015, pending approval by the authorities.

Sequa said in addition to the initial purchase price Tellus Petroleum will make a further payment to Wintershall of up to $100 million depending on the level of oil prices obtaining over the period between 2016 and 2019.

Wintershall, one of Norway’s biggest foreign licence holders, said the sale would not affect its production targets for Norway of 190 million barrels of oil equivalent by 2018.

“With this transaction we are selling shares in (mostly) non-operated fields at a competitive price and reducing our investment obligations,” said its head of exploration and production in Europe, Martin Bachmann.

In 2014, Wintershall took over the operatorship of the Brage production platform and in 2015 of the Vega Field, both from Statoil, which a spokesman said would be moving more into focus.

It was not unusual for his company to rationalise its exploration and development commitments, he added.

He cited sales of non-operated UK assets last year to Hungarian oil and gas company MOL.

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