First Oil Expro brings in administrators

Mon, 22 Feb 2016 | ADMINISTRATION

Aberdeen-based First Oil Expro has brought in administrators from KPMG as crude oil prices continue to decline.

The North Sea explorer, part of oil baron Ian Suttie’s First Oil Group, was put up for sale at the end of 2015. However, as oil prices fell, the distressed business was forced to bring in KPMG, with the company’s Richard Beard, Blair Nimmo and Jim Tucker acting as joint administrators.

Due to this, EnQuest and Cairn Energy will take over First Oil Expro’s 15 per cent stake in the Kraken North Sea Oil Field, with EnQuest taking its stake to 70.5 per cent overall and Cairn to 29.5 per cent.

Ian Suttie’s First Oil Group was founded in 2001. It quickly grew to become the largest privately-owned UK company to explore for oil and gas in the North Sea.

KPMG’s joint administrators have agreed to sell off portions of the company assets to Surrey-based oil and gas company Zennor Petroleum. This includes subsidiaries Antrim Resources and First Oil & Gas, which remain outside administration.

Zennor Petroleum is also expected to take on First Oil Expro’s interests in the Mungo and Monan, Bacchus, Cormorant East and Causeway Oil Fields.

Blair Nimmo, the Head of Restructuring at KPMG in Scotland, said: “We are delighted to announce these two company sales, which are an excellent outcome for stakeholders.

“The fact that their owner, First Oil Expro Limited, sold them via an administration process is a reflection of the significant challenges facing UK North Sea oil and gas companies in the current oil price environment.

“These sales will ensure that the group’s four largest field interests are smoothly transferred to new ownership, and provide time to resolve the position concerning the smaller assets in the group’s portfolio.

“These sales are the culmination of many months’ work across that group maximising value for the company’s stakeholders.”

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