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General: More North Sea Buys on Cards - CNR

Posted on 21.05.2004 - 01:29 EDT in GENERAL NEWS by admin

ginamc writes:  Canadian Natural Resources is adding to its British offshore interests following a deal with Italian oil company Eni.

The North American energy company's UK subsidiary has bought stakes in six producing fields in the central North Sea for an undisclosed sum believed to be less than £100million.

Eni is selling its operated interests in the B-Block (Balmoral, Stirling and Glamis fields) and T-Block (Tiffany, Toni and Thelma fields).

Calgary-based CNR will get a big boost to its UK production from the acquisition - and further North Sea buys could follow. The Balmoral floating production facility and the Tiffany platform will be part of yesterday's deal.

Around 170 Eni staff and contractors on the two installations are affected.

A spokesman for Eni said its staff involved were expected to transfer across to CNR, while the Canadian company would decide on the future of the contractors on the Balmoral and Tiffany installations.

Graham Tran, regional officer in Aberdeen with the Amicus union, said he would be asking CNR for a meeting to find out its plans for the six fields and the workers affected.

"We want the jobs protected under Tupe (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment)," he added.

Eni said yesterday's transaction continued its portfolio optimisation programme.

This was aimed at focusing its activities on material, low-cost, low-risk assets with good growth potential.

The assets being sold yielded about 20,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) a day for Eni.

Net remaining reserves are thought to be around 25million boe. The sale means that it will no longer have any operated assets in the UK North Sea, however, the Italian firm pointed out that the interests being sold only made up 11% of its stakes in British fields.

Eni said it remained "firmly committed" to long-term investment in the UK continental shelf, which continued to represented a core business area for the company.

It added that it would be progressing significant capital expenditure programmes on its producing fields and new developments and on selected exploration and appraisal activities.

No details on these plans were available yesterday.

Eni will still have around 230 staff and contractors working for it in the UK.

CNR currently has UK North Sea production of around 68,000boe a day.

John Langille, president of the Canadian company, said it had first entered the area in 2000 and had made several buys since then. He added: "If opportunities arise to make further acquisitions, we will."

Mr Langille said it was too early to say what CNR's plans would be for contractors on board the two installations being acquired from Eni.

Source: The Press & Journal
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