Waldorf Production is planning to sell its stakes in a pair of CNOOC operated North Sea oilfields – but wants to buy up larger UK projects soon.
CFO Aaditya Chintalapati told a London conference last week that Waldorf has already taken bids for its stakes in the Scott (21.83%) asset, which sits 115 miles off Aberdeen, and its 1.59% stake in its tieback called Telford.
As part of a bid to improve liquidity in 2024, Mr Chintalapati said Waldorf will be looking at that sell-off and an undrawn $45m Shell pre-payment facility.
The Waldorf CFO told the Pareto Securities E&P Independents Conference that the firm has plans to for more deals going forward.
Waldorf has built up a production base of non-operated UK assets of around 22-23,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, notably a 40% non-operated stake in Harbour Energy’s Catcher Hub and 29.5% in EnQuest’s Kraken.
“We continue to look at accretive M&A transactions in the UK for large portfolios of assets that we can then slot in,” Mr Chintalapati told the conference.
He explained that Waldorf currently has “about $900m of nominal tax value that is uncrystalised on our balance sheet at the moment”.
“This is unutilised tax losses that would quickly be crystalised with the acquisition with tax-paying barrels in the UK and that remains our focus”.
A non-operator, Waldorf only pays the 35% windfall tax – not the ring-fenced corporation tax and supplementary charge – rather than the full 75% for the UK sector.
Using their tax loss position would “transform the capital structure and value uplift for the company”, through any deal.
Waldorf Production is expected to release its 2023 full year results at the end of February.
Staying in line with its production guidance, Waldorf faced some production issues via the EnQuest Kraken field and Ithaca’s Alba field.
Elsewhere, negotiations are ongoing between Waldorf, operator Harbour and BW Offshore to extend the lease on the Catcher FPSO.
Flurry of North Sea Waldorf deals
Waldorf has completed a series of deals to build up its production position, including with Cairn Energy, Hungary’s MOL Group and Endeavour Energy.
Recently, the firm had to dismiss speculation that Waldorf itself was up for sale.
A 2022 deal for Taqa’s Dutch assets was abandoned last year over a series of issues linked to tax and decommissioning commitments.