There's a perception out there that North Sea Oil & Gas is struggling, but that's not the case at all. So says the new Norwegian CEO of Longboat Energy.
In an interview with London South East, the former COO of Faroe Petroleum Helge Hammer explained that having sold the well regarded E&P business for 640M last year the management team had unfinished business in the North Sea.
"In the Norwegian sector there will be 60 exploration and appraisal wells drilled last year, and there will be a similar level this year. Production is heading for 5 million barrels of oil per day, which is a record, ever."
"It's a similar story with the UK sector where production has grown every year for seven or eight years. The North Sea is very, very active. " Helge Hammer and the management team IPO'd a new investment vehicle called Longboat Energy #LBE in November, raising £10M on flotation and taking some of the old Faroe institutional shareholders with them. The plan now is to build a medium-sized E&P business similar to Faroe in two or three years with two or three significant deals. "It's also good to have private retail shareholders as well, its good to have a mix."
According to Mr Hammer, the American majors have largely left the North Sea to focus on shale gas fracking opportunities, the European majors remain and 15 billion dollars of Private Equity capital has arrived with several medium-sized E&P companies rapidly created. "These new companies have to allocate resource, can't fund it all, and like the majors they have to allocate capital, and need to streamline their portfolios. Smaller projects and smaller fields need equal amounts of attention. We have been having meetings with these players and have a target list of opportunities."