Energy Voice | Premier Oil plots fundraiser for Chevron North Sea swoop, report says

Premier Oil is mulling a share placing to help finance a deal for £1.17 billion worth of North Sea fields, a news report said.

The London-listed firm is understood to be in the running for a package of assets put up for grabs by US oil major Chevron.

Premier faces stiff competition from the likes of private-equity-backed Chrysaor, Israeli firm Delek Group and petrochemicals giant Ineos, The Times reported.

Ineos, led by Billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, is currently in talks to buy ConocoPhillip’s UK North Sea business.

To remain in contention in the Chevron auction, Premier is weighing up a rights issue or a share placing, the report said, citing industry sources.

The company could also divest its Latin American business to reduce the number of new shares it would need to sell, according to The Times.

Premier declined to comment.

The business, which has a base in Kingswells, Aberdeen, restructured its debts in 2017.

The firm’s finances are gradually improving, but it still has a hefty debt pile.

Last week Premier revealed it had trimmed its net debt by £300 million to £1.8 billion at the end of 2018.

Also last week, Chevron completed the sale of its 40%-operated stake in the Rosebank development, west of Shetland, to Norway’s Equinor.

In July, the California-headquartered giant said it was seeking buyers for its entire central North Sea portfolio.

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