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Cats to operate major pipeline after string of deals

handshake - deal done

Midstream infrastructure owner Cats Management said today that it had agreed buy a 65% stake in a major southern North Sea pipeline.

Cats, a portfolio company of private equity firm Antin Infrastructure Partners, said the Esmond Transport System (ETS) would help diversify its operations.

The 100-mile ETS takes gas from fields in the southern North Sea to the Bacton gas terminal in Norfolk.

The pipeline is currently operated by Perenco.

Premier Oil said yesterday that it would sell its 30% stake in ETS to Cats.

Today, Cats said it had also struck a deal with Centrica for its 25% stake, and with Perenco for a 10% stake.

Cats will become ETS operator once the deal goes through.

Cats managing director Andy Hessell said: “We are delighted to have reached agreement on ETS.

“Growing our business in the southern North Sea allows us to diversify our asset portfolio through exposure to an entirely new catchment area with different business dynamics, and to acquire infrastructure that has the characteristics we value.

“Investment in both established and new infrastructure is key to maximising economic recovery and realising the considerable potential of the UK Continental Shelf.

“We look forward to continuing to collaborate closely with our partners and customers to facilitate and encourage further investment which will support the long-term sustainability of the North Sea.”

Mark Crosbie, managing partner at Antin, said: “We entered the North Sea over three years ago with our first Cats acquisition.

“Since we completed our second Cats acquisition, taking our interest to 99% with operatorship, we have seen the central North Sea deliver excellent business results.

“These two new opportunities in the southern North Sea will complement and build on the success of Cats.”

Cats previously bought the Central Area Transmission System from BG Group and BP.

Cats has also signed heads of terms with Premier Oil and Dana Petroleum to enter into an infrastructure partnership to support the development of the Tolmount field in the southern North Sea.

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