Chevron Corp. is promoting its final remaining oil exploration license in Norway, placing it one step nearer to a full retreat from the growing old North Sea basin because the U.S. main seeks increased returns elsewhere.
Chevron’s exercise off Norway has been restricted for years, however the determination to relinquish its final asset there once more reveals its reluctance to guess on mature areas comparable to northern Europe. The firm is looking for to promote most of its UK fields — it agreed to divest its stake within the Rosebank venture to Equinor ASA final week — and offloaded its solely asset in Denmark in September.
Now Chevron has agreed to switch its 20% stake within the PL859 license within the Barents Sea, off Norway’s northern tip, to DNO ASA, in accordance with a Sept. 28 letter from the Norwegian power ministry obtained by Bloomberg. The deal “implies that Chevron Norge AS shuts down its operations in Norway and leaves the Norwegian shelf completely,” the ministry stated within the letter.
Chevron and DNO didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.
Chevron hasn’t had any producing belongings in Norway because it bought its stake in Draugen oil area in 2014. Yet, when the federal government opened up a brand new exploration space bordering Russian waters in 2016, the corporate secured a stake within the PL859 license. That allow held the most important identified remaining prospect off Norway — a uncommon alternative to make a big discover within the area.
But the prospect — the much-anticipated Korpfjell construction — proved a disappointment final 12 months when operator Equinor made an uncommercial gasoline discovery. The Norwegian firm has dedicated to a deeper properly on the identical prospect, and plans to drill it subsequent 12 months.
Chevron is the primary oil main to go away Norway altogether, although rivals have additionally scaled again their presence following strategic evaluations prompted by the 2014-2017 trade downturn. ExxonMobil Corp. has bought all its operated belongings within the nation, whereas BP Plc merged its native unit with a smaller Norwegian firm, and Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Total SA have divested belongings.
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Chevron’s Rosebank disposal got here after the corporate stated in July it was looking for to promote most of its oil and gasoline fields off Britain. Consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. stated the transaction might “spell the top for Chevron within the UK and Europe.”
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