Offshore market snapshot: tanker and license deals focus on Europe

25 January 2021 (Last Updated January 25th, 2021 18:06)

The third business week of the year (running Sunday 18 to Saturday 23) started with tanker trades and stake acquisitions in Europe. After the large stake trades in the week before, this week saw a return to smaller trades.

Offshore market snapshot: tanker and license deals focus on Europe
Tanker deals in January added to the undercurrent of lease exchanges. Credit: Timo Adam under CC BY NC ND 2.0.

The third business week of the year (running Sunday 18 to Saturday 23) started with tanker trades and stake acquisitions in Europe. After the large stake trades in the week before, this week saw a return to smaller trades.

According to GlobalData estimates, total deal value fell from the previous week. This was mainly propped up by a $1.1bn acquisition of licenses in Nigeria and New Fortress Energy purchasing two companies from Golar LNG.

Across the week, GlobalData logged 15 announced or completed deals, approximately the same as in the same period one year ago. So far this year, each week has seen an average of 11 deals logged by GlobalData. This falls notably below the 31.4 deals per week logged in 2020. On the whole, January has maintained its traditionally slow start to the year, with the year-to-date average sitting at about half the average deal volume.

Deals noted by GlobalData, with a significant margin of error.

The most valuable deal with a known value noted by GlobalData came from DHT Holdings, a Bermuda-registered company operating in Norway and Singapore. On Thursday 21, the independent tanker company bought two very large crude carriers (VLCCs) from an undisclosed company. The company financed the $136m transaction with available liquid assets and mortgage debt.

DHT will receive the 2016-built VLCCs in the first half of 2021. The company will add these to its existing fleet of 27 VLCCs, which have a deadweight tonnage of 8.4 million. In its most recent financial report, the company said it had booked out 79% of its available VLCC days in the fourth quarter of 2020, at an average of $38,400 per day. In response to the announcement, the company’s stock value fell by approximately 3.6% when it opened the next day.


Elsewhere in the week, UK companies traded one of the few onshore leases in the country. Humber Oil and Gas traded its stake in an onshore license to Union Jack Oil for $1.36m. Union Jack now owns a 45% stake, making it the largest holder. The lease contains mean resources of approximately 3.95 million barrels of oil. The transaction implies a price of $2.29 per barrel of oil equivalent. It has yet to received authority approval.

Other license deals occurred when Norwegian major Equinor sold its 18.8% stake in Athabasca Oil to an undisclosed buyer. The company produced 20,200 barrels of oil sands crude per day last year. The stake sale marked Equinor’s last holdings in the onshore Canada market. This followed Equinor’s 2017 pledge to not invest in oil sands due to emissions concerns. It received $14.2m for the sale.

Meanwhile, Spektral Investment Bank acquired privately held assets in Kazakhstan and Russia. A statement from the bank values these at $3bn, though it has not disclosed the worth of the transaction. The bank currently only works within the pharmaceuticals and mining licensing, and CFO Goksel Gursoy said that the bank is “remodelling our scientific securities and mining assets in order to provide effective collateralisation for high risk-bearing operational leverages”.

On Tuesday 19, Indonesian upstream company Energi Mega Persada bought an additional 25% of its subsidiary from Kinross International Group. It paid $43.5m for the stake, giving it a total stake of 75% in Energi Mega Pratama. This deal also has yet to receive approval from the relevant authorities.