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Forbes/AFX News: Talisman in exclusive talks with Shell, Esso to buy Fulmar, Auk fields in NSea

AFX News Limited
02.15.2006
LONDON (AFX) – Talisman Energy Inc said it has entered into exclusive talks with Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Exxon Mobil Corp to buy their interests in the North Sea fields of Fulmar and Auk.
The parties have agreed not to disclose a purchase price, Talisman said.
Shell and ExxonMobil hold combined stakes of 85.3 pct in Fulmar and 100 pct of Auk. Talisman already owns 12.7 pct of Fulmar.
Talisman said it expects to assume operatorship later this year.
The deal would significantly increase Talisman's existing Clyde core area assets in the central North Sea. The company currently operates both the Clyde field (where it owns 95 pct) and Orion field (93.7 pct), which, along with the Auk and Gannet fields, export via the Fulmar production facilities.
Talisman chief executive Jim Buckee said the deal is part of the group's strategy to acquire and develop in the North Sea.
'The combined Clyde, Orion, Fulmar and Auk operations will yield a number of operating efficiencies. We believe redevelopment of the Auk field will deliver significant increases in recoverable reserves and production volumes,' he said.
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