UK-based petroleum exploration and production company EnQuest is set to acquire Bentley, an underdeveloped heavy oil field in the North Sea.

The company entered into a share purchase agreement (SPA) to purchase Whalsay Energy Holdings’ entire 100% equity interest in the P1078 licence, which contains the Bentley discovery.

EnQuest will acquire Whalsay Energy Limited (WEL), a Whalsay subsidiary that holds the licence.

Once the deal completes, EnQuest will fund certain accrued costs and obligations of WEL. The amount is expected to be less than $2m.

The deal involves no other upfront consideration.

However, EnQuest will make up to $40m in deferred payments to Whalsay based on future revenues generated by WEL.

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By GlobalData

In a statement, EnQuest said: “As of 31 December 2019, the date of the most recent audited accounts, WEL had gross assets valued at around $95m, consisting primarily of intangible assets representing historic capitalised exploration and evaluation activities on the Bentley licence.

“For the year ended 31 December 2019, WEL recorded a loss before tax of around $72m, primarily resulting from the recognition of an impairment charge against the Bentley licence.”

Bentley is located in the UK North Sea with an estimated stock-tank oil initially in place of around 900MMbbls.

The EnQuest-operated Kraken and Bressay fields are situated around 15km and 8km from the discovery, respectively. The proximity is expected to open potential long-term development opportunities, as well as other synergies.

The completion of the transaction is subject to several closing conditions including the UK Oil and Gas Authority approving an extension of the existing licence term, which is due to expire on 30 June.

In February, EnQuest signed a deal to acquire Suncor Energy UK’s entire 26.69% non-operated equity interest in the Golden Eagle area.