German independent oil firm Wintershall reported Thursday that it is disposing of its holdings in selected fields on the Norwegian Continental Shelf in order to optimize its portfolio of assets.
Wintershall said it would sell its shares in four non-operated fields – Knarr (20 percent), Veslefrikk (4.5 percent), Ivar Aasen (6.46 percent) and Yme (10 percent) – to Tellus Petroleum. The firm is also reducing its share in the Maria Development, which it operates, by 15 percent to 35 percent, gaining Tellus as a further partner to develop the field.
The package that Wintershall is selling to Tellus also includes stakes in seven exploration licenses in the vicinity of the Knarr, Maria and Ivar Aasen fields and in the Barents Sea, as well as ownership interests in the Utsira High Gas Pipeline, the Edvard Grieg Oil Pipeline and the Knarr Gas Pipeline.
The total agreed purchase prices for the transaction is $602 million – of which $40 million is subject to the Maria field development being approved by the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. In addition, Tellus will make a further payment of up to $100 million depending on the development of the oil price during the period from 2016 to 2019.
"We continue our strategy to grow at the source," Martin Bachmann, who heads Wintershall's exploration and production operations in Europe, said.
"With this transaction we are selling shares in non-operated fields at a competitive price and reducing our investment obligations."
Wintershall said the sale does not affect its production targets. The company aims to continue raising the production of oil and gas to 190 million barrels of oil equivalent by 2018.
On Tuesday this week, the company reported that it had brought its unmanned mini-platform L6-B into production off the Dutch North Sea coast. The firm now operates 25 offshore platforms in Dutch, German and UK waters, and it expects natural gas production to be one of its main areas of activity in the Netherlands and in the southern North Sea.
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