JX Nippon Oil and Gas Exploration disclosed Thursday that it will acquire Eni's non-operated oil and gas assets in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), in line with its strategy of global production of 200,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (bopd) by 2020.
Through its wholly owned subsidiary, JX Nippon Exploration and Production (UK) Limited (JXNEPUK), the Japanese company will buy Eni's entire interests in 17 producing fields and several discoveries that are either being developed or are expected to be developed shortly.
The transfer of licenses – subjected to regulatory approval by the UK regulators and joint venture partners – will see JXNEPUK gaining a 28.89 percent stake in the Mariner field. Ranked as one of UK’s largest undeveloped oil finds, the heavy oil field – estimated to hold 300 to 500 million barrels oil reserves of recoverable oil – is located 87 miles (140 kilometers) southeast of the Shetland Islands on the UKCS in a water depth of 361 feet (110 meters).
In addition, the Japanese giant will add to its existing participation in the Andrew, Magnus, ETAP, Kinnoull and Merganser fields. It will also increase its interest in the Culzean gas condensate development from 17.07 percent and establish a presence in the Flotta Catchment Area, including the Claymore field.
The company said in a statement that the transaction is part of its long-term plan to build a robust profit center in the UK.
"Additional activities towards this goal in 2012 have included a successful 27th License Round award that expanded our exploration operatorships West of Shetland and the acquisition, through a swap, of equity in the Kinnoull field," the company said in a statement.
JXNEPUK has set itself a target to increase its oil production in the UKCS up to 50,000 bopd by the end of this decade.
The JX Group is vertically integrated in the petroleum and oil products stream. In addition to exploration assets, the conglomerate owns refineries, gas stations and petrochemical plants.