INEOS is in talks with ConocoPhillips to acquire its North Sea oil and gas fields.
Reuters reported in May that ConocoPhillips was looking to sell its North Sea assets in a bid to focus on US shale gas production. Bloomberg recently reported that ConocoPhillips is planning to sell US$3bn worth of assets by the end of the year, including its 7.5% stake in the Clair field west of Scotland. According to The Sunday Times, INEOS has put down a deposit in return for three months exclusivity in negotiations. A spokeswoman for ConocoPhillips confirmed that it is in “exclusive negotiations” with INEOS, excluding the Teeside oil terminal and London assets.
If the bids don’t meet expectations, ConocoPhillips expects to retain the UK assets. It is also possible that that private equity firms Neptune and Chrysaor could make a bid for the assets if the talks with INEOS are unsuccessful.
The acquisition would strengthen INEOS’ presence in the North Sea, where it already owns the Forties Pipeline System that delivers most of the oil and gas to shore.
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