Shell To Purchase BP’s Stake in Shearwater Field

The operator is exercising its right of first refusal, negating the previously announced deal with a private equity group.

Shell has swooped in to purchase BP's stake in the Shearwater field.
Credit: Shell.

Shell has agreed to acquire BP’s 27.5% working interest in the Shearwater field in the UK North Sea, negating the planned sale of the stake to Tailwind Energy. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. As operator of the field, Shell had a right of first refusal over any sale of BP’s interest.

BP had previously attempted to offload its Shearwater interest at least twice. The first time, in 2020, it struck a deal with Premier Oil as part of an overall asset package valued at $625 million. That deal was never consummated because of a reverse takeover of Premier by Chrysaor Holdings. The second time, just last month, BP said it had agreed to sell its stake to Tailwind Energy, a small exploration company backed by trading house Mercuria Energy Group.

“Shell UK has agreed to purchase BP’s interest in the Shearwater gas hub,” a spokesperson for the Anglo/Dutch company told Reuters. “The move reflects Shell’s strategy of focusing our upstream activities on fewer, existing positions to generate material returns for shareholders and to fund the growth of our new low-carbon portfolio.”

The Shearwater field currently produces around 18,000 B/D of oil equivalent, well off its peak production of 160,000 B/D back in 2004. The facility remains an important production hub in the North Sea.

The deal brings Shell’s overall interest in Shearwater up to 55.5%. The purchase remains subject to regulatory approvals.