Oil deal

Aberdeen’s Verus in $400m swoop on North Sea assets

Alan CurranVerus Petroleum, an Aberdeen-headquartered company, is acquiring Cieco Exploration & Production (UK), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Japanese ITOCHU Corporation in a $400m (£300m) deal.

The acquisition includes a 23.1% interest in the Western Isles Development Project, 25.8% in the Hudson field, a 2% interest in the Brent Pipeline System, and 1.2% of the Sullom Voe oil terminal.

The acquisition will add approximately 11,000 boed to Verus’s daily production. The acquired entity is an asset holding company and the transaction does not involve the transfer of any personnel.

It will be funded by a combination of equity, existing cash reserves and debt with equity provided by Stavanger-based private equity firm HitecVision, the majority owner of Verus.

Alan Curran (pictured), chief executive of Verus Petroleum, said the deal was in line with the company’s strategy to expand its production base and cash flow.

“This transaction builds on our Boa oil field acquisition in 2017 and our acquisition of interests in the Alba oil field and the Babbage gas field earlier this year. The combined Alba, Babbage and Cieco acquisitions increase our net production to around 18,000 boepd,” he said.

It is the latest in a series of investments into the region by private equity backed companies.

Chrysaor, which is backed by Harbour Energy, an investment vehicle of EIG Global Energy Partners, bought interests in 10 fields from Shell for £3 billion last year, while Siccar Point Energy and Neptune Energy have also made eye-catching acquisitions.

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