Oct 2, 2018

Serica Energy’s North Sea deal under threat

Serica Energy's deal to buy out BP and Total from a series of North Sea oil and gasfields will collapse next month unless the US grants a waiver allowing it to continue operating one of the assets in which Iran also holds a stake, according to people familiar with the talks. The planned acquisitions, which were set to see Aim-quoted Serica acquire the Rhum, Bruce and Keith fields - accounting for 5 per cent of the UK's gas production - are dependent on the Office of Foreign Assets Control granting a licence allowing equipment and service providers to work with the Rhum field, which is 50 per cent owned by the National Iranian Oil Company, after November 4. If the £300m BP deal falls through, Serica will also terminate its plans to buy further stakes in the Bruce and Keith fields from Total, worth a further $20m, according to the people. Rhum already requires a licence from Ofac enabling the provision of goods and services from US companies under the country's pre-existing primary sanctions. BP said that it and Serica Energy continued to work "With all relevant authorities to resolve outstanding regulatory, licence and partner consent processes to complete the transition of the Bruce, Keith and Rhum assets".

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