Ineos chief Jim Ratcliffe looks set to extend his firm’s role in North Sea offshore oil and gas, following disclosure that it is negotiating potential purchases from Conoco.
The focus is a substantial minority share in the Clair field. Conoco recently sold a 16.5% stake to fellow shareholder BP, which now owns close to 46%.
The proposed sale to Ineos would involve a 6.5% share and is thought to be worth well in excess of £2billion.
Ineos’ emergence as a North Sea player began three years ago in October 2015 but received a substantial boost last year, when it bought the oil and gas holdings of Dong Energy.
Dong divested itself of the fields for £1 billion as part of a wholesale move in to green and electrical energy, with a focus on offshore wind power. This was marked with a name change from Dong (Danish Oil and Natural Gas) to Ørsted, after the Danish father of electromagnetics.
Ineos acquired the Forties pipeline system from BP in the same year, together with the Dalmeny and Kimmell terminals and the Forties Unity site.