Canadian oil giant Suncor Energy is assessing the ‘market interest’ for its stake in the Rosebank oil field, in the UK North Sea, reported Bloomberg.

The firm owns a stake of 40% in the Equinor-operated Rosebank project.

The Rosebank field is located approximately 130km northwest of the Shetland Islands, in water depths of an estimated 3,600ft.

The Rosebank project is currently in the development planning phase. Several alternatives including subsurface, drilling, and facility developments are being assessed prior to concept selection.

The company is currently looking to divest its Suncor Energy Norge AS unit, which owns several exploration assets and stakes in three fields, in the North and Norwegian seas.

The latest move forms part of Suncor’s efforts to reduce its presence in the North Sea to shift its focus to other areas. It holds a 29.9% interest in the Buzzard field, in the Central North Sea.

The firm is also focusing on reducing its carbon footprint, particularly in its key oil-sands projects in Canada.

Suncor CEO Mark Little told the news agency: “The North Sea has been less significant with the sale of Golden Eagle, and we’ll see how it goes with Norway.

“Our focus is primarily in our core integrated business, and so we’re testing the waters on a few of these assets.”

Suncor Energy reported net earnings of $1.22bn (C$1.553bn) in Q4 2021, compared to a net loss of $132.4m (C$168m) in the same period a year ago.

The firm’s adjusted operating earnings stood at $945m (C$1.2bn), against a $85.9m (C$109) loss in Q4 2020.

In addition, the company also reduced its net debt by $2.9bn (C$3.7bn), to $12.6bn (C$16.1bn).

Little said: “In 2021, we reduced our debt at the highest annual pace in the company’s history and maximised the returns to our shareholders through accelerated share repurchases and dividends, including the doubling of our dividend in the fourth quarter.

“The execution of this strategy has allowed us to exit the year with a strengthened balance sheet, and we are well positioned to execute on our 2022 strategic initiatives, which are focused on operational excellence, shareholder returns, and optimising our existing base business while progressing the reduction of carbon emissions across our value chain.”

Originally discovered in 2004, the Rosebank field is located in block 205/1a ALL, 205/2a ALL, 213/26a ALL, 213/27a ALL, and 213/26b ALL.