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Jan 21, 2022

Suncor seeks buyers for Norway oil and gas assets

Teal Linde discusses Suncor Energy


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Canada’s Suncor Energy Inc. is marketing its assets in Norway to potential buyers, according to sales documents seen by Bloomberg.

The company retained Scotiabank to divest its 100 per cent shareholding in the Suncor Energy Norge AS unit, with non-operated stakes in three oil-and-gas fields in the North and Norwegian seas, and a number of exploration assets in the region.

A string of divestments by larger oil and gas companies in recent years has seen the emergence of little-known drillers and investment firms scooping up fields in the North Sea. Private equity-backed NEO Energy has picked up the largest of the discarded assets, most recently buying JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corp.’s U.K. fields for US$1.7 billion.

Calgary-based Suncor and Scotiabank both declined to comment.

The portfolio being marketed includes a 30 per centstake in the Oda field, where production started in 2019 and is expected to reach 15,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day this year, mostly oil, according to the documents. The field is operated by Spirit Energy Group, whose parent, Centrica Plc, last month agreed to sell the unit’s Norwegian business to closely held Sval Energi AS.

The assets offered include 17.5 per cent ownership in the Fenja project operated by Neptune Energy Group Ltd., with the first oil expected in 2023. The project will double Suncor’s Norwegian output from a 2022 production forecast of 5,000 barrels per day from Oda. The assets for sale also include a 20 per cent non-operated interest in the Beta discovery made in 2010.

Suncor sold its stake in a cluster of U.K. North Sea fields last year to EnQuest Plc for $325 million. The sale didn’t include its near 30 per cent stake in the much larger Buzzard field.

The Canadian firm began exploring the divestment of its North Sea assets in 2020. At the time, its assets in Norway were valued at an estimated US$100 million, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

Suncor didn’t provide a timeline for the process in the documents, saying instead that prospective buyers will be invited to submit an indicative non-binding bid, followed later by a binding bid.