The Blyth and Skipper projects in the North Sea have received a boost as Independent Oil and Gas (IOG) is moving forward on plans to sell its joint venture partner ATP Oil and Gas UK Ltd.
In a US court document, IOG named Alpha Petroleum as the buyer. It understands that the owner wishes to keep its stakes in Blythe and Skipper and is in support of business plans for its existing assets; this includes retaining the current management team.
ATP UK is the operator at Blythe and Skipper and owns 50 per cent of its licenses, while IOG owns the other 50 per cent.
Chief executive officer of IOG Mark Routh said: "This is a significant event for IOG because once the sale of ATP UK has concluded IOG will be able to proceed with the development and appraisal programmes for Blythe and Skipper. We have met Alpha Petroleum and have high regard for both them and the ATP UK management team and … we look forward to working with them and progressing our joint assets as quickly as possible."
He did add that business between IOG and Alpha Petroleum is pending the receiving of approval documents for the sale of ATP UK before it can progress. The first hearing about the sale of ATP UK is scheduled for December 19th.
Of the two oil projects, Blythe is closest to production with 2P Reserves of 6.1 million barrels of oil equivalent. It also expects to see first gas in 2015. Following this, cash flow from Blythe is expected to aid the development of Skipper, which has an oil block which is 26 million barrels heavy off the north east coast of Scotland.
Acquisitions such as these, which aim to encourage oil and gas drilling projects in the North Sea, can offer jobs within the sector as they offer businesses the capital necessary to expand the workforce.
Other projects moving forward in the North Sea include the increased investment in the Kracken field from EnQuest.