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Total announced on Thursday the closing of the US$7.5-billion acquisition of Denmark’s Maersk Oil that adds 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent reserves and resources to the French oil major’s portfolio and makes it the second-largest operator in the North Sea.
Under the terms of the share and debt transaction, announced in August 2017 and effective as of today, Total will pay the seller—A.P. Moller-Maersk—US$4.95 billion in Total shares, or around 97.5 million shares, and will assume US$2.5 billion of Maersk Oil’s debt.
The deal is the biggest North Sea-weighted deal since the Statoil/Norsk Hydro merger in 2006, energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie said after the transaction was first announced.
The acquisition boosts Total’s presence in the UK and Norwegian North Sea and allows it to enter Denmark, making the French company the second-largest operator in the North Sea with production of 500,000 boed by 2020, behind Norway’s Statoil.
Maersk Oil will bring to Total around 160,000 boed production this year, ramping up to more than 200,000 boed by the early 2020s.
Through the acquisition, Total gets 8.44 percent in the huge Statoil-led Johan Sverdrup project; 49.99 percent in the UK’s largest gas development, Culzean; 25 percent of the Jack producing oil field in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico; and 12.25 percent of the El-Merk, Hassi Berkine producing oil fields in Algeria.
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All of these areas—the North Sea, offshore, and the Middle East and Africa are part of the five pillars of Total’s current strategy to create profits and value for shareholders, Total’s Chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanné said at the CERAWeek conference earlier this week.
Commenting on the closing of the Maersk Oil acquisition, Pouyanné said today:
“First, it illustrates our strategy to build on our strengths and grow our presence in Total’s core areas, like the North Sea, to strengthen our leadership there. Second, it brings high-quality and low-breakeven assets, enhancing our worldwide portfolio. Third, the strong overlap between Maersk Oil and the Group’s assets will generate more than $400 million of synergies per year.”
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.