Equinor said on Friday it would acquire the British oil and gas business of Canada's Suncor Energy SU.TO for $850 million, giving the Norwegian company stakes in several key North Sea petroleum assets.
Equinor said the deal includes a 29.9% stake in the Buzzard oilfield, an additional 40% stake in the Rosebank development, and will also see the Norwegian firm taking on Suncor's UK-based employees who work with these assets.
"This transaction is in line with Equinor's strategy of optimizing our oil & gas portfolio and deepening in our core countries," Philippe Mathieu, the company's head of international exploration and production, said in a statement.
Three sources familiar with the plans had on Wednesday told Reuters a deal between Equinor and Suncor for the British assets was close.
"The decision to sell our UK Exploration & Production (E&P) business is a clear example of our commitment to optimize our asset portfolio," Suncor's interim president and CEO, Kris Smith, said in a separate statement.
"Having the right 'fit and focus' in our portfolio enables us to both ensure effective capital allocation consistent with our strategic objectives and to focus our organization on delivering value in the rest of our portfolio, including our E&P business in East Coast Canada," he said.
The transaction will add approximately 15,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day to Equinor's production in 2023, the Norwegian company said.
Equinor is already operator of the planned offshore Rosebank oil and gas project, some 130 km (80 miles) northwest of the Shetland Islands and one of the largest developments in the aging North Sea basin.
The deal doubles Equinor's stake in the development to 80%, while London-listed Ithaca Energy ITH.L holds the remaining 20%.
Equinor and its partner later this year are expected to make a final investment decision on Rosebank's development, which the Norwegian group has said could involve a commitment of about 4.3 billion pounds ($5.2 billion).
($1 = 0.8350 pounds)
(Reuters / Reporting by Terje Solsvik; editing by Tom Hogue and Jason Neely)