UK’s Cairn Shells Out USD 453 mln for Agora Acquisition

UK's Cairn Shells Out USD 453 mln for Agora Acquisition

Cairn, an Edinburgh-based private exploration and production company, has today completed the acquisition of Agora Oil & Gas AS (“Agora”) for a total consideration of approximately USD 453 million.

Agora which is now a part of Cairn Group companies, is a Norwegian firm with non-operated exploration, appraisal and development assets in the UK and Norwegian North Sea. Agora’s portfolio is made up of interests in 11 licenses in the North Sea basin, with an active drilling programme in 2012.

Simon Thomson, Chief Executive of Cairn Energy PLC said:

 “The value of the acquisition of Agora has already been demonstrated with the significant light oil Skarfjell discovery in the Norwegian North Sea.  This is an important initial transaction for Cairn, demonstrating our intention to build a balanced portfolio.  The Agora team’s experience and proven track record in identifying opportunities in a relatively mature basin, has the potential to add significant value for Cairn.”

Agora will add drilling activity to Cairn’s 2012 exploration and appraisal programme, with nine wells, eight firm and one contingent, scheduled to be drilled in the UK and Norway in 2012. The proposed acquisition includes Agora’s 15% stake in the Catcher area planned for development and a 25% interest in the Tybalt discovery, which both have further drilling programmes planned this year.

Svein Ilebekk, Chief Executive of Agora Oil & Gas commented:

“Our team is delighted to become part of a leading industry exploration company. Cairn is a strongly funded business, providing financial flexibility for our next phase of growth. We have a shared mindset and, together, we have the capacity to expand our exploration efforts and to realise the full potential of the business. Cairn’s extensive offshore and operating experience will combine very well with our technical subsurface and commercial skills in the region.”

Offshore Energy Today Staff, May 9, 2012