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Heavy oil joins the UKCS M&A party

Even carbon-intensive production is being swept up in the rush of North Sea deals

UK independent Enquest agreed in late April to buy a 100pc equity interest in the UK continental shelf (UKCS) P1078 licence, which contains the proven Bentley heavy oil discovery, from Whalsay Energy. The deal is at least the seventh UKCS transaction in the last three months. Enquest will pay less than $2mn upfront on completion of the deal. But it will make deferred payments to Whalsay based on future Bentley revenues up to a maximum of $40mn. Bentley, discovered as long ago as 1977, is one of the largest undeveloped oilfields on the UKCS, with the current operator estimating initial oil in place at c.900mn bl. Whalsay’s major shareholders are financial firms BlackRock, QVT Financial, War

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