(Adds CEO quote, background)
LONDON, June 13 North-Sea focused oil producer
EnQuest has agreed to take over ExxonMobil's
share in the Malaysian Seligi oil field, expanding its
production portfolio outside of its core UK market.
Upon completion of the deal, which is subject to regulator
approval, EnQuest will become operator of the field and own 50
percent alongside Malaysian state-owned oil company Petronas.
"We continue to look at the UK as our major hub, but because
of these movements of companies back to North America we're
seeing opportunities specifically in places like Malaysia," said
EnQuest chief executive Amjad Bseisu.
His company specialises in maximising oil output from old
fields by applying new technology that allows it to retrieve oil
that is typically hard to reach.
As large oil majors look to divest late-life assets that
have seen a decline in output, EnQuest sees an opportunity in
snapping up old fields where it can apply its expertise.
The Seligi oil field, EnQuest's third Malaysian project,
will boost the company's net production by around 5,000 barrels
of oil equivalent per day and add 11 million barrels of oil
equivalent to its net reserves.
EnQuest plans to move "a dozen or so" staff, such as
geologists and physicists, from the UK to Malaysia to help
operate the Seligi field, Bseisu said.
"This acquisition follows from our recent partnership with
Petronas on the Tanjong Baram field and is a significant
expansion to our Malaysian operation," he added.
Shares in EnQuest were up 0.1 percent higher at 139.6 pence
at 0947 GMT.
(Reporting by Karolin Schaps; Editing by Paul Sandle and Sophie