Cairn gains North Sea foothold

Offshore staff

EDINBURGH, UK – Cairn Energy has agreed to acquire Norwegian independent Agora Oil & Gas. The transaction, subject to regulatory approval, will cost Cairn $450 million.

Agora is a private company owned by RIT Capital Partners, Lord Rothschild’s family interests, and management. It holds interest in exploration, appraisal, and development projects in the UK and Norwegian North Sea.

This year the company is scheduled to participate in eight firm exploration and appraisal wells and one contingent well. Three of these are currently operating – exploration wells at Skarfjell and Cladhan South, and an appraisal well on the Tybalt discovery.

The proposed acquisition includes Agora’s 15% stake in the Catcher area in the UK central North Sea, which will likely go forward for development in the next year.

Cairn’s aims to balance its global portfolio by adding lower risk, near-term exploration, appraisal and development assets to complement potentially transformational frontier exploration in Greenland and the Mediterranean Sea.

Agora’s team that will join Cairn previously built Norwegian company Revus Energy ASA from an initial value of $170 million in 2005 to its $750 million sale value in 2008. Their specialty is identifying new play concepts and prospects in a relatively mature basin.


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