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UK petrochemicals group Ineos is expanding its oil and gas operations in the North Sea with another big move.

The energy giant has agreed to buy a two-thirds stake in two exploration licenses in areas north of the Shetland Islands from Siccar Point Energy for an undisclosed sum.

The move follows the completion of a deal in September to buy Dong Energy’s oil and gas business for £1bn which made it one of the UK’s top ten producers.

In a surprising turn earlier this month, the company, founded by billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, also bought Swiss club FC Lausanne-Sport.

Geir Tuft, chief executive of Ineos, said: “Ineos intends to become a significant player in this area. This deal confirms our aim to take a leading role to develop the Northern Gas Fields using the significant infrastructure investments already made West of Shetland.

“With the purchase of the DONG E&P business earlier in the year, Ineos took over a significant portfolio of producing assets and discoveries West of Shetland. It is clear that the Northern gas area holds further opportunities that could help unlock the development of those discoveries. The deal with Siccar complements our assets.”

Traditionally focussing on petrochemicals, the company has aggressively expanded its oil and gas operations with a number of acquisitions in recent years.

Earlier this year, it completed the acquisition of the Forties Pipeline System in the North Sea from BP for £199m.

The deal makes it responsible for delivering almost 40 per cent of the UK’s oil and gas.

The 235-mile pipeline was opened in 1975 and links 85 North Sea oil and gas assets to the UK mainland as well as the Ineos site in Grangemouth, Scotland.

The group now has positions in the four fields in the North Sea that make up what is known as the Lyon cluster — Lyon, Tobermory, Bunnehaven and Cragganmore.

Ineos said that initial survey work indicated extensive gas reserves of between one to three trillion cubic feet, potentially making it a hub for surrounding gas fields.


Source: Independent Business News

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