OMV Buys Stakes in 4 North Sea Licenses

Austria's OMV announced Wednesday that it has strengthened its position on the UK Continental Shelf with the acquisition of four licenses in the West of Shetland area.

The deal with Hess Corporation sees OMV increasing its share in the Cambo field from 15 percent to 47.5 percent, with OMV taking over operatorship of the field. It also gains the Blackrock prospect. The firm will acquire 60 million barrels of oil equivalent in recoverable hydrocarbons from the $50-million transaction, with further exploration and appraisal potential. 

OMV said the Cambo field has "potential valuable synergies" with adjacent fields, including the OMV-operated Tornado discovery and the Suilven discovery. There are also further prospects with tie-back potential to develop Cambo as a valuable area hub, the firm added.

Meanwhile, OMV noted that the Blackrock prospect – scheduled to be drilled in 2015 – is located between the Cambo discovery and the Rosebank field (in which it also holds a stake).

OMV CEO Gerhard Roiss commented in a company statement:

"This transaction further strengthens OMV's portfolio of assets in our UK focus area, West of Shetland, where we are consistently executing our strategy of unlocking value from our investments by taking larger stakes and more projects with operatorship within our upstream portfolio."

The deal is just the latest in a handful of transactions that OMV has made in order to gain a strong presence in the North Sea region. In August, last year, the firm signed a $2.7-billion deal with Statoil to acquire several assets in the North Sea. OMV is currently on a major recruitment drive to find 1,600 additional technical staff by 2016 to help it expand its exploration and production activities.

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