Region: North Sea
Content Types: Report
Date: Feb, 2021

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EnQuest PLC, an independent oil and gas production and development company, together with its subsidiaries has signed an agreement with Suncor Energy UK Limited to purchase Suncor’s entire 26.69% non-operated equity interest in the Golden Eagle area, comprising the producing Golden Eagle, Peregrine and Solitaire fields.

A prized asset

The acquisition is expected to add an immediate incremental production of c.10,000mboepb, c.18mnbl to net 2P reserves and c.5mnbl to net 2C resources. The field life is expected to extend into the 2030’s and with an ongoing four-well infill drilling programme, as well as a host of unsanctioned activities associated with further drilling and various third-party near-field tie-back opportunities being assessed, there is huge potential for this field still remaining.

The assets also boast a strong safety record with zero lost time injuries since its start up and zero safety critical maintenance backlog at the end of 2020. With a CO2e emissions intensity ratio lower than the UK North Sea industry average, it is no surprise that EnQuest are elated with the deal.

Amjad Bseisu, Chief Executive at EnQuest, commented, “We are delighted we have agreed the acquisition of a material interest in Golden Eagle, a high-quality, low-cost UK North Sea development. Upon completion, this acquisition will add immediate material production and cash flow to EnQuest and will allow us to accelerate use of our substantial tax losses. It also demonstrates our continued commitment to the UK North Sea and diversifies our existing production base. We look forward to a productive partnership with the operator, CNOOC and our future joint venture partners, NEO Energy and ONE DYAS,” Bseisu added.

EnQuest will acquire all of the shares in North Sea Resources Ltd, a company which will hold Suncor’s non-operated equity interest in the Golden Eagle area. The initial consideration has been set at US$325mn with an additional contingent consideration of up to US$50mn. This will be financed through a combination of a new secured debt facility (the group is currently working closely with its leading banks BNP and DNB), interim period post-tax cash flows and an equity raise.

An auspicious period for EnQuest

The acquisition comes off the back of the company recording a good performance in 2020 despite Covid-19 which saw the company reduce net debt to US$1.28bn (from US$1.413bn in 2019) and hold an Average Group production rate of 59,115boepd.

Bseisu said, “During 2020, our operations remained materially unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Group delivered in line with its production guidance, with a particularly strong performance at Kraken. Our focus on cost control and capital discipline, combined with an improving oil price environment, saw the Group deliver free cash flow breakeven of c.US$32/Boe and generate free cash flow of c.US$210mn.”

“We transformed our business in 2020, significantly lowering our operating costs and re-focusing the portfolio on the highest value assets. As such, I am confident we are well placed to succeed in a changing world.”