French take over gas fields

Energy company Perenco yesterday completed its £162m takeover of gas fields and facilities in the Southern North Sea.The French-owned company now controls 14 gas fields including the Indefatigable, East Leman, Davy, Trent, Tyne, Pickerill and Waveney, together with associated pipelines and onshore processing facilities, including the Bacton terminal.

Energy company Perenco yesterday completed its £162m takeover of gas fields and facilities in the southern North Sea.

The French-owned company now controls 14 gas fields including the Indefatigable, East Leman, Davy, Trent, Tyne, Pickerill and Waveney, together with associated pipelines and onshore processing facilities, including the Bacton terminal.

Denis Clerc-Renaud, UK general manager for Perenco, said that the company had recruited 50 extra staff to work at Yarmouth, Bacton and offshore from Norfolk since signing an agreement in February to take over the assets from BP.

The extra staff, in addition to the 60 previously employed at Bacton and Beevor Road, Yarmouth, were required as Perenco had decided to move some of the activities previously done in Aberdeen to Norfolk.


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"We have confidence in the future for the Yarmouth area and it is our intention to grow here," he said.

Mr Clerc-Renaud, who was in Yarmouth yesterday, said Perenco planned to use its extensive experience of operating mature fields to prolong field life; initially through its efficient cost structure, followed by further investment, where appropriate.

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There has been a trend in the offshore industry for large operators like BP to recognise that small companies are better able to manage mature fields.

Perenco has now become an important company on the Norfolk energy scene, employing 340 people either directly or as contractors.

Based in Paris and London, Perenco is an independent exploration and production company. It currently owns producing assets in 11 countries.

Perenco is the latest smaller energy company to enter the southern North Sea with the aim of developing fields.

Rivals Tullow Oil and EnCana have also acquired facilities which they aim to develop over the next few years.

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