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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 April, 2003, 15:48 GMT 16:48 UK
Firms paid to take over oil fields
Kittiwake platform
The fields will be taken over by UK-based firms
Two small oil companies are being paid $2.7m (1.6m) to take over the assets - and liabilities - of two North Sea oilfields.

ShellExpro, a joint venture between Shell and ExxonMobil, has struck the deal with UK-based firms Venture and Dana.

The smaller companies will take over the Kittiwake and Mallard fields, along with offshore tanker loading and oil storage facilities.

Venture and Dana will receive an equal share of the assets in the deal, which also includes several undeveloped fields.

The fields were producing a combined total of almost 7,000 barrels per day earlier this year.

However, the new owners are taking a risk as the costs of decommissioning the installation at the end of its life could be more than the value of the remaining oil.

"Today's deal recognises the difference in materiality thresholds between the majors and the smaller independents," said Venture chief executive Bruce Dingwall in a statement.

"(It) is entirely in keeping with the new behaviours required to maximise the remaining potential of the North Sea."

Shell cuts 350 North Sea jobs
17 Mar 03  |  Scotland
New fears over North Sea oil jobs
31 May 02  |  Scotland

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