Ineos, the Swiss chemicals giant that controls Grangemouth, has bought a major share of North Sea gas fields from DEA Group for $750 million.
A gas field is an area with commercially-viable gas deposits.
The company will take control of fields that supply up to 8 percent of the UK’s gas. The deal represents Ineos’s first step into oil and gas.
DEA Group is owned by the LetterOne Group, which is controlled by the Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman.
The gas fields were acquired earlier this year by DEA from German firm RWE. However, the UK Energy Secretary, Ed Davey, told LetterOne in April that it had to sell them again.
Davey said it wasn’t in the country’s best interests because of sanctions by the West against Russia over the developments in Ukraine, which he was concerned could lead to their shutdown.
He told LetterOne that the sale had to happen before 20 October.
Ineos says it will continue to evaluate other opportunities in the North Sea
Jim Ratcliffe of Ineos said: “We are pleased to acquire a strong portfolio of natural gas assets and bring on board a highly successful and experienced North Sea industry team.
Commenting on the gas fields he said: “They are high quality, low risk assets and they come with a highly experienced management team. Whilst no decisions have yet been made, we will continue to evaluate other opportunities in the North Sea.
“Ineos has been very open about its intention to make strategic investments in the North Sea and this acquisition is our first step in fulfilling this goal. It will also help our UK petrochemical assets to have ongoing access to competitive energy.”
According to Reuters, a LetterOne spokesman said: “DEA will now use the proceeds from the sale to invest in its core growth areas in Europe and North Africa,”