Shell narrows down bidders for North Sea gas assets valued at up to $800 million

Laura Hurst and Dinesh Nair, Bloomberg August 21, 2023

(Bloomberg) – Shell Plc has whittled down bidders for its southern North Sea gas fields to three final contenders, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Perenco SA, Ithaca Energy Plc and newcomer Viaro Energy Ltd. have bid for a package of UK assets that includes the Leman Alpha hub, the Clipper field and the Bacton gas terminal, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing private information. The assets may be valued at around $600 million to $800 million, one of the people said.

Representatives for Shell, Perenco, Ithaca and Viaro declined to comment.

Ownership of North Sea fields has changed substantially in the past decade as oil majors largely withdraw from the aging basin. Assets have been snapped up by private equity-backed firms, smaller exploration and production companies and a handful of new players.

While such companies may bring fresh funds to the region, the UK’s move last year to slap a windfall tax on producers has called profitability into question.

Results of Shell’s sale process are expected to be announced in the coming weeks, two of the people said.

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