A full exit from the UK is “increasingly likely” for US major Chevron following the sale of its central North Sea portfolio to Ithaca Energy, an analyst said yesterday.
Greig Aitken, corporate analysis director at Wood Mackenzie, said the divestment meant Chevron’s only remaining North Sea interest was its 19% non-operated stake in BP’s huge Clair field, west of Shetland (WoS).
Chevron sold its 40%-operated stake in the Rosebank project, also WoS, at the end of last year.
The California-headquartered firm’s involvement in the North Sea can be traced back to 1964, when its joint venture operator Amoseas drilled a well, which turned out to be dry.
Two years later, Amoseas made its first discovery, when its offshore rig, Endeavour, struck gas on Block 48/7.
Since then, Chevron has continued to develop the oil and gas resources in the North Sea, but its interest in the basin waned as it built up a leading position in the Permian basin, in the US.
Mr Aitken said: “We recently identified the UK as one of nine countries that we considered peripheral to Chevron, due to lack of scale and growth potential.
“Chevron will be left with 19% stake in the Clair field once the deal closes and a complete exit from the UK is looking increasingly likely.”
Kevin Swann, Woodmac’s senior research manager, North Sea upstream, added: “The deal continues the UK trend of smaller companies taking on assets from the majors.
“Following hot on the heels of Chrysaor’s deal with ConocoPhillips, we’ve seen assets worth almost £4 billion change hand in the last few months.
“International growth has been a long-term goal for Delek and it understands the UK North Sea well, having acquired Ithaca Energy in 2017.
“This is a strong portfolio and gives Ithaca operated control of key long-life assets like Captain and Alba.”