Published On: Tue, Oct 13th, 2015

Under Political Pressure, Russian Billionaire Mikhail Fridman Sells Energy Assets in North Sea

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Swiss petrochemicals company Ineos has agreed to acquire a strong portfolio of natural gas assets in the North Sea from a UK subsidiary of DEA Deutsche Erdoel AG, which is part of Russian billionaire, Mikhail Fridman’s LetterOne Group.

Ineos Upstream will acquire gas fields, including the Breagh and Clipper South fields in the Southern North Sea which are well positioned close to Ineos’ sites in the North East and Scotland.

The annual production from these fields account for 8 percent of the UK’s annual gas production, enough gas to warm 1 in 10 British homes, said Ineos.

The U.K. government gave Mr. Fridman’s $29 billion LetterOne investment fund six months, starting in April, to sell the North Sea gas fields acquired in March  or face having the licenses to operate the fields revoked.

The U.K. government objected to LetterOne’s purchase of stakes in the British North Sea gas fields—part of a $5.7 billion deal for German utility RWE AG’s oil and gas arm DEA—citing the potential for U.S. or European sanctions to be filed against Mr. Fridman in the future over Russia’s involvement in Ukraine.


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