ConocoPhillips has concluded its exclusive talks with UK petrochemicals company Ineos regarding the sale of a package of its North Sea assets in the UK.

An internal memo seen by Bloomberg revealed that ConocoPhillips now plans to open up the sale of the oil fields to other bidders and is engaging with interested companies.

Confirmed by ConocoPhillips, the memo further noted that any sale would take several months to conclude.

Last November, Ineos entered exclusive negotiations with US firm ConocoPhillips to acquire offshore oil and gas fields worth $3bn.

“ConocoPhillips’ remaining stake in the Clair field is now part of the package of North Sea assets on the block.”

Due to the volatile price of oil since then, the negotiations became complicated.

Bloomberg reported that Ineos considered renegotiating its bid terms earlier and the extension of the exclusivity period.

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Last July, ConocoPhillips signed an agreement with BP to sell its 16.5% stake in the Clair field, located offshore west of the Shetlands in the UK.

As a part of the deal, the company agreed to retain a 7.5% stake in the field.

ConocoPhillips’ remaining stake in the Clair field is now part of the package of North Sea assets on the block.

If successful, the deal would have increased Ineos’s ownership of the oil and natural gas that feed its petrochemical plants.

In 2017, the company bought several North Sea fields, the Forties oil-pipeline system and interest in offshore exploration acreage in Scotland.

Ineos completed several acquisitions in recent years to expand its North Sea footprint.