EnQuest Selling Stake in North Sea Golden Eagle Oil Field

Golden Eagle platform (Credit: EnQuest)
Golden Eagle platform (Credit: EnQuest)

Britain's EnQuest is looking to sell its 27% stake in the Golden Eagle oilfield in the British North Sea as it seeks to reduce debt levels, two sources told Reuters on Tuesday.

It was unclear how much the sale of the non-operated stake would raise. The process is being run by investment bank Jefferies, the sources said.

A spokesperson for EnQuest declined to comment. A spokesperson for Jefferies also declined to comment.

EnQuest bought the Golden Eagle stake from Suncor in 2021 for $325 million - roughly equal to EnQuest market capitalization at the time - to boost its production capacity by another 10,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

EnQuest has struggled in recent years with high debt levels and a drop in profits after Britain imposed a 35% windfall tax on North Sea producers after the surge in energy prices following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

The company, headed by CEO Amjad Bseisu, reported a net loss of $31 million in 2023 and a net debt of $481 million, compared with $717 million a year earlier. Its current market capitalization is around 307 million pounds ($382 million).

EnQuest also announced in March its first shareholder distribution in the form of a $15 million share repurchase in 2024.

Shares in the company were up 0.1% early on Tuesday.

The Golden Eagle project is operated by Chinese-owned oil and gas firm CNOOC 0883.HK and includes the producing Golden Eagle, Peregrine, and Solitaire fields.

When the purchase was announced in February 2021, Chief Financial Officer Jonathan Swinney had said it would earn EnQuest around $13 million a month. The company also completed a $750 million debt refinancing in June 2021 to support the purchase.

EnQuest's website says Golden Eagle still has "significant development potential, including further sub-sea and platform infill drilling, with an anticipated field life extending into the early 2030s."

(Reuters - Reporting by Ron Bousso in London and Deep Vakil in Bengaluru; Editing by David Evans)

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