The anticipated acquisition of Nexen by CNOOC provides further evidence of global organisations’ continuing interest in the North Sea, and another example of major merger and acquisition activity on the UK continental shelf.
The announcement was quickly followed by news of Sinopec’s acquisition of 49% of Talisman Energy’s UK North Sea business.
Increasingly, Asian organisations are investigating new opportunities in regions they previously overlooked, and the North Sea is now in their sights.
From the perspective of the oil and gas team here in Aberdeen, we have increasingly been talking about how the renewed confidence we highlighted at the start of the year has translated into solid activity.
The CNOOC move underlines the extraordinary levels of interest and enthusiasm in our waters.
Many of our clients have been placing orders for infrastructure and vessels which will not be available for several years – five, in some cases – which gives an extremely clear indication of the faith they have in this oil province’s long-term future and the overall confidence in the relative stability of the commodity price.
Some of the biggest energy firms globally are keenly focusing on the North Sea right at this moment and it is fair to say this sector has not been in a healthier position for quite some time.
Walter Cumming is head of oil and gas at Barclays Corporate Banking