Norway’s Equinor buys Suncor Energy’s UK arm for $850m

Norway’s Equinor doubles stake in major untapped North sea oil field with $850m acquisition of Suncor’s UK arm

  • Equinor will hold an 80% stake in the Rosebank field and 30% in Buzzard field
  • It will also take on Suncor’s UK-based employees who work on these projects 
  • Equinor will decide if to invest £4.5bn in development of Rosebank ‘in 2023’

Norway’s Equinor has doubled its stake in a key North Sea project with the acquisition of Suncor Energy’s UK arm for $850million (£708million).

The deal will see Equinor increase its interest in the Rosebank oil and gas field – one of the region’s largest untapped reserves – by 40 per cent, taking its total stake to 80 per cent. The remaining 20 per cent is held by Ithaca Energy.

The acquisition of Suncor UK will also include a 29.9 per cent stake in the Buzzard oil field and see the Norwegian firm taking on Suncor’s UK-based employees who work on these projects. 

Drilling for oil: Rosebank could still hold more than 300m barrels of recoverable oil

The sprawling Rosebank field – named after a Scotch malt whisky – is about 80 miles north-west of the Shetland Islands. Drilling has been taking place in the area since 2004. 

It could still hold more than 300million barrels of recoverable oil, according to Equinor, which has been in talks with the UK government about speeding up its potential £4.5billion investment in the oil field.

The company said it would make a decision on this investment sometime this year ‘subject to the UK Government’s and partners’ approval’.

Some $250million of the total consideration ‘is contingent upon a final investment decision for Rosebank’, it added. 

The deal will add approximately 15,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day to Equinor’s own production in 2023. 

The company has been attacked by climate activists in recent weeks over its booming profits and plans to develop the Rosebank project.

The UK Government has also been criticised for its efforts to convince Equinor to commit to the project by critics who want the UK to move away from oil and gas. 

‘Equinor has been a reliable, broad energy partner to the UK for almost 40 years, developing domestic energy resources, generating low-carbon electricity, and supplying the equivalent of 29 per cent of the UK’s total natural gas demand in 2022,’ the company said today. 

‘Equinor is looking to further support the UK economy by investing billions in crucial energy infrastructure, including offshore wind, carbon capture and storage (CCS), hydrogen, power, and oil and gas.’