Energy Voice | ‘New phase’ for Verus Petroleum after spate of North Sea deals

Aberdeen-based Verus Petroleum has said it is moving to the “next phase” of growth after a 12-fold increase in its oil and gas production.

The operator has been snapping up North Sea assets over the last year, including a £300m deal in September for Cieco Exploration & Production with stakes in the Hudson and Western Isles projects.

More recently, it has completed deals with Equinor and Premier Oil, and has seen its daily production grow from 1,500 to 18,000 barrels of oil per day.

Chief executive Alan Curran said the firm has a plan to secure operatorship of assets in the short to medium-term and continue its acquisitions.

Verus, backed by private-equity firm HitecVision, has had its reserves-based loan facility with seven banks increased to £395.6m, which will help continue the growth plan.

Mr Curran said: “HitecVision’s continued support provides Verus with a solid capital base. This is a robust foundation for further growth.

“We are now looking to reinvest the cash flow from these assets in further long-life production and development opportunities.”

Verus announced its arrival to the North Sea after taking a stake in the Boa from Maersk Oil in January last year.

After completing the Cieco deal in September, which included stakes in the Hudson and Western Isles projects, Verus last week completed a deal for 47% interest in the Babbage field in the southern North Sea from Premier Oil.

It has also completed its deal with Equinor for a 17% interest in the Alba field.

Mr Curran added that Verus wants to become one of the leading independent operators in the basin.

He said:“We are delighted to have completed these transactions which are aligned with our strategy to expand our production base and cash flow through the acquisition of high-quality production assets.

“Long-term, our aim is to build a full-cycle E&P company of scale.

“We now have a diversified portfolio of high-value barrels with low lifting costs in predominantly long-life fields with very strong cash generation, giving us the platform to achieve that aim.

“Our acquisition in the Boa oil field in 2017 announced our arrival; the completion of these three deals – within a matter of months – is a strong show of our resolve to become one of the leading independents in the basin.”



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