Hungarian oil firm MOL Group is weighing up the sale of its UK North Sea business, just four years after its arrival in the basin, a news report said.
Budapest-based MOL has hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch to manage the sale of its portfolio, Reuters reported today, citing four banking sources.
The assets are thought to be worth a “low” nine-figure sum, according to the sources.
The report said the oil price downturn’s impact on profits had convinced MOL to sell up.
MOL declined to comment.
MOL recently said its third quarter performance was dented by a drop in North Sea production.
Output from the Scolty and Crathes fields, about 100 miles north-east of Aberdeen, was held back by a wax build-up in a pipeline, it added.
MOL has a 50% stake in Scolty and Crathes, while operator EnQuest owns the remaining 50%.
MOL said net sales for the third quarter increased 9% year-on-year to £2.99billion but pre-tax profits sank 22% to £191million.
The company entered the North Sea in 2013, taking over assets worth £220million, including non-operated stakes in the Broom field, interests in the Catcher, Cladhan, Scolty and Crathes developments and a share in Shetland’s Sullom Voe terminal.
In 2014, a £76million deal with Premier Oil gave MOL a 21.8% stake in the Scott field, a 1.6% share in Telford and a 15% interest in Rochelle, all operated by Nexen.
MOL was also successful in the 28th UK offshore licensing round, being awarded four blocks.