Shell Buys Beryl Fields in North Sea

LONDON – Royal Dutch Shell PLC said Thursday it has agreed to buy Hess Corp.'s interest in the Beryl area fields in the U.K. North Sea and the Scottish Area Gas Evacuation System for $525 million.

The move further cements Shell's position in the U.K. sector of the North Sea, where it is already a leading operator. Shell's share of U.K. oil and gas production was about 8%, or about 140,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day, in 2011.

The Beryl area includes 12 fields located on the U.K. continental shelf northeast of Aberdeen in Scotland. The fields are operated by Apache Corp. and with the acquisition increases Shell's interest in the different fields by a range of between 9% to 65%, depending on the field.

The Beryl cluster has a far longer anticipated lifetime than originally thought and may produce for a further two decades, Shell said in a statement.

Shell's acquisition should help to enhance the performance and economic potential from key Shell North Sea operated and non-operated assets, lifting Shell's production in the Beryl area fields to 24,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day from currently 9,000 boe/d, the company said.

Shell intends to invest in these assets to substantially extend the production life for potentially a further 20 years.

Subject to regulatory approval the deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013, Hess said in a statement.



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