Update: The article has been updated to include a statement by ConocoPhillips.
The UK-based oil and gas company Ineos is in exclusive talks with ConocoPhillips to buy the U.S. company’s UK North Sea assets.
This was confirmed on Monday to Offshore Energy Today by the Ineos spokesperson who said in an email: “I can confirm that INEOS is in discussion with ConocoPhillips.”
Offshore Energy Today had sent an email seeking confirmation on the back of a report by The Sunday Times on Sunday, according to which Ineos and ConocoPhillips have entered into exclusive talks over ConocoPhillip’s North Sea oil and gas assets.
The Sunday Times on Sunday reported that Ineos, led by “Britain’s richest man” Sir Jim Ratcliffe, had been believed to have paid a certain fee to Conoco for the exclusivity in negotiations.
The newspaper, without naming sources, has said that Ineos was in talks to buy “$3 billion of North Sea oil and gas fields” being sold by ConocoPhillips.
Offshore Energy Today in May, citing Reuters, reported that ConocoPhillips was looking to divest UK North Sea assets including its stake in the Clair field, and Britannia and J-Area, consisting of Judy/Joanne, Jade, and Jasmine fields, all in the UK North Sea.
At the time, a spokesperson for ConocoPhillips said: “Unless formally announced by the company, we don’t comment on business development activity.”
In the meantime, ConocoPhillips in July signed an agreement with BP, under which BP will take a part of ConocoPhillips’ stake in the Clair field in the North Sea, and in a separate deal, BP agreed to its non-operating interest in Kuparuk and satellite oilfields in Alaska to ConocoPhillips.
Offshore Energy Today has reached out to ConocoPhillips seeking more info on the Ineos talks.
A ConocoPhillips spokesperson responded on Monday afternoon saying:”We can confirm that we are in exclusive negotiations with INEOS for our U.K. assets, excluding Teesside and London.”
The spokesperson said ConocoPhillips would not comment beyond that.
Ineos piling up North Sea assets
As for Ineos, this would be a fourth major UK North Sea buy in three years. The company last year bought Dong Energy’s UK North Sea fields as the Danish company exited the oil and gas business.
Before that, Ineos bought Forties Pipeline System (FPS) business, with assets including the main Forties offshore and onshore pipelines and other associated pipeline interests and facilities, from the UK oil giant BP.
Back in December 2015, Ineos acquired the UK North Sea natural gas assets of DEA Deutsche Erdoel AG, with the transaction including interests in the Breagh and Clipper South gas fields in the Southern North Sea.
Offshore Energy Today Staff