THE OIL and Gas Authority (OGA) has launched an investigation into a £725 million oil field deal in the North Sea.
The organisation is probing Esso’s plans to sell 13 producing oil fields, including Elgin Franklin, to NEO Energy.
It fears negotiations are progressing too slowly, and could have a “chilling effect” on the market by deterring other investments in the basin.
The latest developments follow eight months of talks between both parties, without a conclusion being reached.
OGA said, “The investigation will now examine the engagement between the parties since EEPUK (Esso) and NEO Energy announced the proposed transaction in February 2021.”
The investigation will not stop the deal from going ahead, if a breakthrough is made in the lengthy talks.
However, OGA warned that every group connected to the transaction must still meet their obligations under the OGA Strategy and industry codes of practice.