Eon prepares to quit struggling North Sea with sale of oil assets

Caitlin Morrison
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AN energy provider Eon has become to the latest major company to move away from the North Sea, as it prepares to sell off its assets in the region.

The company is reported to have appointed Bank of America Merrill Lynch to look for buyers.

The group reported a €3.2bn (£2.3bn) loss for 2014 earlier this month, and used its annual results to announce the details of its plans to split the business in two.

The Eon name is to be attached to a new renewable power and supply operation, while the fossil fuels arm of the company will become a separate business with a new brand.

Firms operating in the North Sea have struggled over the past nine months, with the price of oil plummeting combined with a stringent tax regime making it difficult for companies to turn a profit.

Benchmark brent crude oil has sunk from around $100 in July to between $50 and $60.

Eon declined to comment yesterday.

Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman has bought into the North Sea, with investment vehicle LetterOne Group taking over RWE Dea.

Shell is still working on a sale of three of its assets in the North Sea. However, the firm says it is still committed to its operations in the UK.

The French firm is reportedly looking at a sale of part of its £3bn Laggan-Tormore field west of Shetland, which is due to start production later this year.

According to reports, the US firm is looking at options for its 24 per cent stake in the North Sea’s Clair field.

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