Energy Voice | Premier completes sale of Babbage interest to Verus

Premier Oil has completed the sale of its interests in the Babbage Area in the North Sea to Verus Petroleum.

The firm, which had a 47% operating interest, has received £30.3m after adjustments since the effective sale date of January 1.

Aberdeen-based Verus is also taking on exploration commitments valued at £18.8m.

Production from Babbage in the southern North Sea has averaged 2,500 barrrels of oil equivalent per day in the year to date.

Premier first announced the sale in April in a bid to reduce it net debt, which stood at £2bn as of the firm’s latest financial results for the six months to June 30.

At the time the deal was announced, CEO Tony Durrant said: “The sale of our interests in the Babbage Area will immediately reduce our net debt and our committed exploration spend in 2019.

“This transaction further demonstrates our determination to restore our balance sheet strength.”

It comes as Verus is buying up a series of stakes in the North Sea.

In September the firm struck a £300m deal to buy stakes in the Western Isles and Hudson field, as well as the Brent Pipeline System and Sullom Voe oil terminal in Shetland.

Premier is meanwhile focussing on other areas, announcing that production from its Catcher field has shown a strong performance, averaging 68,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in November and December to date.

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