Energy giant Ineos expands operations in North Sea
The chemical company is making the move into deep sea drilling.
Energy giant Ineos has bought a majority stake in two exploration licenses in the North Sea.
The firm is making the move into deep water drilling after agreeing to the exploration licences with Aberdeen-based Siccar Point Energy.
Completion of the transaction remains subject to customary regulatory consents.
If the exploration is successful, it could be large enough to form a new gas-hub development similar to the Laggan-Tormore fields, which have been developed with sub-sea infrastructure and pipelines to the Shetland Gas Plant.
Geir Tuft, Ineos Oil and Gas chief executive, said: "Ineos intends to become a significant player in this area.
"This deal confirms our aim to take a leading role to develop the Northern Gas Fields using the significant infrastructure investments already made near Shetland.
"With the purchase of the DONG E&P business earlier in the year, Ineos took over a significant portfolio of producing assets and discoveries.
"It is clear that the Northern Gas Area holds further opportunities that could help unlock the development of those discoveries. The deal with Siccar compliments our assets."
Siccar Point Energy's CEO Jonathan Roger commented: "As licence operator we are excited to be moving forward in conjunction with Ineos to drill the Lyon prospect.
"This represents an opportunity to unlock the material gas potential of the most northerly licenced area of the UKCS.
"We look forward to working with INEOS in this new exploration partnership and to operating our first exploration well."