Ping Petroleum and Hibiscus Petroleum have signed an agreement with Shell UK, Shell EP Offshore Ventures and Esso Exploration and Production UK to each acquire 50% of the entire interests in the Anasuria Cluster in the UK Central North Sea.

The acquisition of the Anasuria Cluster is set to bring two new entrants into the North Sea and is subject to regulatory approvals.

Located 175km east of Aberdeen, Anasuria comprises a 100% interest in the Anasuria FPSO, Teal, Teal South, Guillemot A fields and a 38.65% interest in the Cook field.

"The Anasuria Cluster has development potential for a company the size of Hibiscus."

The cluster represents a geographically focused package of operated interests in producing fields and associated infrastructure. The producing resource base of the assets is expected to provide a platform for further development.

Ping and Hibiscus expect the acquisition will create significant value for their respective shareholders and the UK government.

The acquisition also reflects support provided by the UK to encourage smaller independents to invest and revive the North Sea basin.

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Hibiscus Petroleum managing director Ken Pereira said: "This acquisition will complete our company’s strategy of acquiring a balanced portfolio of assets, which includes exploration, development and producing assets within five years of listing our company.

"The Anasuria Cluster has development potential for a company the size of Hibiscus and provides us with an excellent foundation upon which we can build a significant North Sea presence."