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Siccar Point, one of the largest private equity-backed oil and gas field operators in the North Sea is considering a sale, to be arranged later this year, unnamed industry and banking sources told Reuters.
The company has a portfolio with total discovered reserves of 500 million barrels of oil equivalent, with its assets expected to have productive lives of at least 40 years. Most of these discoveries have not yet been tapped for commercial production.
In most of these fields, Siccar is only a minority partner, including in the Rosebank field, a promising deepwater field operated by Equinor, in which Suncor is a also a minority partner alongside Siccar Point. The field, one of the largest in the UK continental shelf, has potentially recoverable reserves estimated at more than 300 million barrels of oil equivalent.
Yet the company also has majority stakes in two fields, Cambo and Benbecula. Cambo lies in the Corona Ridge Area where Rosebank is and, according to the Reuters sources, the company has invited investors to review data on the field as it plans to reduce its stake in it. The other 30 percent in Cambo are held by Shell. The field has natural gas reserves seen at 500 billion cu ft.
“A Cambo farm down might result in a broader transaction for the company,” one of the Reuters sources said.
Siccar Point as a whole could fetch US$2 billion, according to Wood Mackenzie calculations. The firm emerged as one of the main players in the North Sea last year, after it acquired OMV’s operations in the UK for US$1 billion.
The private equity-backed energy independents emerged as the new masters of the North Sea over the last few years as Big Oil began streamlining portfolios, focusing only on the highest-yield, fastest-return projects. Some of them, according to Reuters, have plans to go public at some point but they might not rush to execute these plans as investors are growing increasingly wary amid highly volatile oil prices.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.