UKCS: To sell or not to sell?

UKCS: To sell or not to sell?

United Oil&Gas shareholders are being taken care of, as CEO Brian Larkin says the company aims to create value by either drilling new wells or selling assets.

In the light of United Oil&Gas (UOG) strategy to have a global portfolio, the firm sees the potential of divesting more of its North Sea acreages. The company holds interest, with most of its licences being non-operated, in Italy, Jamaica, Benin, Egypt and the UK.

Recently, UOG finalised the sale of its Crown discovery (Palaeocene Balmoral Sandstones reservoir) to Hibiscus Petroleum for £4m and announced its intention of acquiring Rockhopper Egypt for £12.8m (22% non-operating interest in the Abu Sennan concession).

Abu Sennan concession. Abu Sennan lies in the Western Desert region in Egypt, with seven operating fields which Rockhopper said has gross production of 5100 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Source: United Oil&Gas

UOG also owns the Zeta prospect (estimated at 90 MMboe), awarded in the 31st UK Offshore round. Just like Crown, UOG believes Zeta can bring more value to the company if it’s either developed by drilling more wells or sold, once their work program has been carried out.

The company will carefully analyse both options and identify the best one that will bring more value to the shareholders.

CEO Brian Larkin comments: “When looking at new assets, new licenses and new opportunities, particularly the acreage in the North Sea, sometimes it makes sense and there’s more value created by putting an asset into production and sometimes there will be more value created by divesting. In the Crown instance, there was more value created to divest.”

Mr Larkin added: “It’s a bit like trying to pick between your favourite child.”