Gas field

Swiss chemicals company Ineos is to acquire a portfolio of natural gas assets in the North Sea from a UK subsidiary of DEA Deutsche Erdoel for $750m, which is owned by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman’s investment fund LetterOne.

As part of the deal, Ineos Upstream, a new oil and gas subsidiary set-up by Ineos, will acquire the Breagh and Clipper South fields in the Southern North Sea that provide up to 8% of UK gas.

According to the company, the fields are located close to its assets in the North East and Scotland.

Ineos said it has experience in operating chemical plants of similar complexity to these offshore platforms.

The company is the process of evaluating additional opportunities in the offshore area as part of its growing interest in energy production.

Ineos Upstream chairman Rob Nevin said: "Ineos and its JV partners are huge consumers of natural gas, ethane, propane and condensates.

"North Sea oil and gas can make a significant contribution to providing these feedstocks, as well as servicing our energy needs."

"North Sea oil and gas can make a significant contribution to providing these feedstocks, as well as servicing our energy needs."

The company, which owns various fracking licences in England and Scotland, is investing a further $1bn in a project to bring US shale gas to the UK and Norway.

Ineos chairman Jim Ratcliffe said: "The acquisition of these North Sea gas fields is a great entry point for the INEOS Upstream business.

"Whilst no decisions have yet been made, we will continue to evaluate other opportunities in the North Sea."

LetterOne was previously asked by the UK Government to sell its assets within six months following the imposition of sanctions on Russia by Europe and US over Ukraine.

LetterOne had previously bought the North Sea assets from RWE for $5.8bn as part of acquisition of DEA.

The transaction is subject to competition clearance from the European Commission and is expected to close later this year.


Image: Ineos Upstream will acquire the Breagh and Clipper South fields in the Southern North Sea. Photo: courtesy of INEOS.