Ian Suttie has reportedly placed his flagship First Oil up for sale as declining oil prices batter the sector’s financial books.
The firm, which the Scottish multi-millionaire founded in 2001, describes itself as the largest British-owned private oil company in the North Sea.
Its website currently features a divestments tab, where it advertises its interests in the Kraken development, Lyon exploration project, Norfolk exploration area and Glenn oil discovery.
The move to sell reportedly comes after Suttie decided against providing an additional funding boost to the firm.
First Oil owns a 15% stake in Kraken, which equates to a $100million obligation.
The company’s website describes the divestment as an “opportunity to invest in one of the largest fields in the UKCS, with reserves of 136.5 MMbbls”.
A First Oil spokesperson told the Sunday Times: “The recent substantial reduction in oil price meant that the planned refinancing no longer worked for all parties.”
Energy Voice has contacted Suttie for additional comment.
Suttie is estimated to be worth £350million, according the most recent Sunday Times rich list – the figure is £100million less than the previous year’s value.
Brent crude has fallen 70% from the $115 high in 2014 to last week’s $33 low.
The dramatic drop forced Iona Energy into administration last week.
Subsea contractor Ceona was also mothballed with the loss of 102 jobs.