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Lloyds List: Majors seek exit from North Sea

Published: Jun 15, 2007

MOVES by Shell and ExxonMobil to pull out of the UK northern North Sea have confirmed fears that the region is unprofitable despite high oil prices, writes Martyn Wingrove.

Also up for sale is the equity in the oil export pipeline between Cormorant and the Sullom Voe tanker terminal in Shetlands and operated interests in the Kestrel and Pelican fields.

Their interests in Total’s Otter field, which is linked to Eider and Dana Petroleum’s Hudson field tied back to Tern and in the Strathspey field, are also available.

Shell and ExxonMobil are also in advanced negotiations to sell the Dunlin cluster of fields to British independent Fairfield Energy.

‘These are relatively high cost assets within our European portfolio, where other operators might be better placed to add value,’ explained Tom Botts, Shell’s executive vice president for Europe.

All the assets produce around 30,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day, net to Shell, representing 10% of its British and 3% of its European output, said a spokesman.

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