Speculation about a potential North Sea exit for Chevron mounted yesterday after the US firm said it had received a bid for its stake in the Rosebank field.
It’s worth noting that while an offer has been tabled, Chevron has not publicly stated its intention to sell and is pressing ahead with front end engineering and design work.
But the company did create a stir in July when it confirmed plans to offload its entire UK central North Sea (CNS) portfolio, which includes operated interests in the Alba, Alder, Captain and Erskine fields, and non-operated stakes in Britannia and its satellites, Elgin-Franklin and Jade.
Divesting those assets would leave Chevron with a UK portfolio comprising 19.4% of the Clair field, which is operated by BP, and 40% of Rosebank, according to Yvonne Telford, analyst at Westwood Global Energy.
Mrs Telford said: “Should the central North Sea sale be successful we would expect Chevron’s remaining Clair interests to be attractive to buyers and provide Chevron with an exit from the UK.”
Ross Cassidy, senior research manager at Wood Mackenzie, said Chevron could be motivated to sell its stake in Rosebank, which was discovered in 2004.
Mr Cassidy said: “Chevron has been weighing up development options for a number of years, but has yet to take FID. “The asset may be struggling to compete for capital within Chevron’s low breakeven tight oil portfolio, focused on the US Permian basin.
“But a sale would reduce Chevron’s pool of conventional growth opportunities, increasing its dependence on delivering in the Permian.
He added: “Chevron is actively reducing its European portfolio. On September 25, it was announced that Total will acquire Chevron’s Danish upstream business.
“And the company is looking to sell other assets in its UK North Sea portfolio.”