Canadian-based Suncor Energy will acquire a 30% participating interest in Rosebank project in the UK North Sea from OMV UK for $50m.

In case the project final investment decision is approved by the co-venturers and Suncor elects to participate, OMV will receive additional consideration from the company of up to $165m.

The reduction of OMV’s stake in the project fits with its strategy of optimising the upstream portfolio. In connection with the deal, the company is realising a pre-tax impairment of €530m for the stake held in the field.

Located approximately 130km northwest of the Shetland Islands in water depths of about 3,600ft, the project was discovered in December 2004.

"This transaction rebalances our OMV portfolio by reducing future investment requirements while retaining a large stake in the Rosebank development."

Rosebank is considered as an undeveloped resource in the UK North Sea and is currently in the front-end engineering and design (FEED) phase.

The project has a design capacity of 100,000 barrels of crude oil and 80 million ft³ of natural gas per day and is set to be complementary to Suncor’s existing UK portfolio.

Once the transaction concludes, joint venture parties of the project will be operator Chevron North Sea (40%), Suncor (30%), OMV (20%) and DONG E&P (10%).

OMV upstream executive board member Johann Pleininger said: “This transaction rebalances our OMV portfolio by reducing future investment requirements while retaining a large stake in the Rosebank development.

“At the same time, the addition of Suncor, with their substantial offshore experience, to the Rosebank consortium will strengthen the venture considerably as it moves towards project implementation.”

Subject to conditions including regulatory approval, the transaction is expected to conclude in the fourth quarter of this year.