Chrysaor buys into Apache’s North Sea exploration acreage

Private-equity back oil firm Chrysaor has snapped up stakes in a number of UK North Sea licences containing exploration prospects from US business Apache. The deal gives Chrysaor 39.5% non-operated stakes in four of licences, and raises its existing interest in a fifth licence to 39.5%, from 22.78% previously, Upstream reported.

The licences, which are in the Beryl area, about 180 miles north-east of Aberdeen, do not contain any producing assets.

But the acreage does include the Corona discovery, which is currently undeveloped. It is expected to be developed as a tieback to the Beryl Alpha platform.

The transaction value was not disclosed, but the deal does lift Apache’s equity in another licence, where Chrysaor is its partner, to 60.5% from 55%.

A spokesman for Chrysaor said: “Our partnership with Apache will help facilitate fast-track developments of future discoveries through tie-backs to the Beryl Alpha platform.

“Collaboration and creative partnerships are a key part of our strategy, aligned to the government’s ambition to maximise economic recovery from the North Sea”.

Apache announced the discovery of Corona in October 2015, alongside the Callater and Seagull finds.

At the time, Apache said the three finds contained net recoverable reserves of 50-70 million barrels of oil equivalent.

First oil from Callater was achieved in 2017, but Apache sold its 35%-operated stake in the Seagull development to Neptune Energy last year.

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