Swiss company Ineos has agreed to acquire a portfolio of natural gas assets in the North Sea from a UK subsidiary of DEA Deutsche Erdoel AG, which is part of the LetterOne Group, owned by the Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman.
Ineos will buy gas fields, including the Breagh and Clipper South fields in the Southern North Sea. The annual production from these fields account for 8% of the UK’s annual gas production.
The company operates Scotland’s largest manufacturing complex at Grangemouth which is the only refining – petrochemicals complex directly attached to the North Sea, Ineos said.
Rob Nevin, Chairman INEOS Upstream, says, “INEOS and its JV partners are huge consumers of natural gas, ethane, propane and condensates. North Sea oil and gas can make a significant contribution to providing these feedstocks as well as servicing our energy needs.”
Jim Ratcliffe, INEOS chairman adds, “The acquisition of these North Sea gas fields is a great entry point for the INEOS Upstream business. They are high quality, low risk assets and they come with a highly experienced management team. Whilst no decisions have yet been made, we will continue to evaluate other opportunities in the North Sea.”
The company did not disclose the value of the transaction. Reuters has come up with a figure of around $750 million, citing banking sources.
LetterOne had obtained the UK North Sea assets through the acquisition of the German oil and gas company RWE Dea, but was forced to sell the North Sea assets due to pressure from the British government. According to a Reuters report last Wednesday, LetterOne has turned to Norway. The company will try to buy Norwegian offshore fields owned by E.ON.