JX Nippon signs deal with Eni for North Sea assets

Offshore staff

LONDON – JX Nippon Exploration and Production (UK) has agreed to acquire from Eni a range of non-operated interests in the UK North Sea.

These comprise stakes in 17 producing fields and various discoveries either under development or close to development.

They include:

  • A 28.89% stake in the Statoil-operated Mariner heavy oil field in the northern North Sea, for which final development approval is expected soon
  • Added interests in the Andrew, Magnus, ETAP, Kinnoull, and Merganser fields in the central North Sea
  • An added interest in the Maersk-operated Culzean gas/condensate development from 17.07% to 34.01%
  • A presence in the Flotta Catchment Area, operated by Talisman Energy, including the Claymore field.

JXNEPUK plans to invest heavily in the UK continental shelf over the next few years, raising its production from the sector by the end of the decade to about 40,000-50,000 boe/d. Globally the parent company is targeting 200,000 boe/d by 2020.

The transaction remains subject to UK regulatory and joint venture approvals and pre-emption in certain cases by existing participants.

David Nash, executive director at JXNEPUK, said: “A number of previous adverse tax changes made it very challenging to justify such a major investment, but through 2012 the collaborative approach that has been developed between industry and government has begun to ameliorate the situation.

“The introduction of field allowances and steps being taken by the government to provide certainty on decommissioning tax relief contributed to our decision to finally proceed with this acquisition.”

Recently, the company was awarded interests in 18 blocks under the UK’s 27th offshore oil and gas licensing round. Fourteen are west of Shetland, with the company operating five of these blocks (205/4c, 214/23, 214/24 (part), 214/28 (part), and 214/29 (part)). All are on trend with gas discoveries in the region.

JXNEPUK has committed to drill one exploration well in these blocks. The company already operated two blocks adjacent to new acreage.

In the UK central North Sea, the company was awarded interests in four blocks.


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