Shell/Esso retreat from far north

Shell and ExxonMobil are open to offers for their stakes in numerous mature producing oilfields in the UK northern North Sea.

Offshore staff

ABERDEEN, UK --Shell and ExxonMobil are open to offers for their stakes in numerous mature producing oilfields in the UK northern North Sea. These include operated interests in Cormorant Alpha, Cormorant North, Eider, Kestrel, Pelican, and Tern, and non-operated interests in the Hudson, Otter, and Strathspey fields.

Both companies are also negotiating the sale of their combined holdings in the Dunlin, Dunlin Southwest, Merlin, and Osprey fields in the same region to London-based independent Fairfield Energy. Assuming UK government approval, Fairfield should secure operatorship later this year. The company is also involved in projects to reactivate the abandoned Crawford and Maureen fields in the central UK North Sea.

Fairfield intends to sustain ongoing investment in the Dunlin facilities to secure their long-term integrity. It has contracted Amec to provide consultancy services for this program, but also plans a drilling campaign to lift the fields' production volumes.

Shell's Tom Botts, commenting on the exit strategy, said: "These are relatively high-cost assets within our European portfolio, where other operators might be better placed to add value." Shell and Esso will also market various other production licenses and associated infrastructure in UK quadrants 210 and 211.

06/18/2007

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