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Offshore Oil Rig

WFW advises Bayerngas UK Ltd on proposed acquisition of an interest in the Babbage Gas Field in the North Sea

16 September 2013

Watson, Farley & Williams (“WFW”), a leading international law firm, is pleased to announce that it has advised Bayerngas UK Ltd (“BGUK”), on the acquisition by its subsidiary Bayerngas Europe Limited of a 13% interest in the Babbage Field from Centrica Resources Limited.

Located in the UK Southern North Sea, the Babbage Field has been producing gas since 2010.

BGUK is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bayerngas Norge AS with upstream operations in Norway, Denmark and the UK. These include interests in five producing oil and gas fields, three fields under development and 61 exploration and production licenses.

Completion remains subject to certain conditions including regulatory approval but the other partners will be E.ON (operator, 47%) and Dana Petroleum (E&P) Limited (40%).

Based in WFW’s Singapore office, Chris Kilburn, partner in the International Corporate Group, led the team with assistance from: corporate associate, Sarah Williamson; oil and gas specialist, Heike Trischmann, tax partner Richard Stephens, and competition and regulatory associates Sophie Yule and Kristina Cavanna.

Gerry Harrison, Managing Director of Bayerngas UK Ltd comments: “We are delighted to reach agreement with Centrica to purchase this asset. Although relatively small, it complements our existing UK production at Clipper South and our major development project, Cygnus. It also allows us to join strong and experienced partners to evaluate further potential in the license. Together with our existing exploration portfolio, which we will start to test with our first exploration well early next year, we are building a solid UK business.”

Chris Kilburn, Partner in the International Corporate Group comments: “This is the third investment in a North Sea gas field that we worked on with Bayerngas and it has been interesting helping them implement their acquisition strategy as they develop their UK presence and have moved through to production.

There have been a number of reports on the low levels of oil and gas M&A activity in the second quarter of 2013 (lower than any other quarter since Q3 2009). With relatively stable oil prices and improving market conditions, there is the potential that management teams who have adopted a more cautious approach against the backdrop of macro-economic issues such as the Eurozone crisis will gradually seek to adopt more ambitious growth plans. We are currently working on a number of oil and gas M&A transactions and hopefully this reflects a wider trend of increasing deal activity in the sector”