JERUSALEM, July 18 (Reuters) – EnQuest is in talks to sell a 20 percent stake in the North Sea Kraken oilfield to Israeli conglomerate Delek Group in a deal that could be worth $162 million, the companies said on Monday.
Kraken is one of the largest current development projects in the UK North Sea, with an anticipated production life of up to 25 years and first oil targeted in 2017, according to EnQuest, which owns a 70.5 percent share in the field. Cairn Energy has the remaining stake.
The field holds an estimated 147 million barrels of oil.
While EnQuest has been looking to reduce debt and potentially sell off assets, Delek, a lead partner in a number of natural gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean, primarily offshore Israel, wants to expand its portfolio internationally.
The companies signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding, EnQuest said, stating that Delek would cover its share of project capex from Jan. 1, 2016 and pay a $20 million advance that is recoupable in five years if it is not covered by revenues.
Delek, in a statement, said its investment is expected to reach $162 million.
The sale is still subject to lender and regulatory approval, the companies said.
(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch in Jerusalem and Esha Vaish in Bengaluru; editing by Susan Thomas)
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