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Exclusive: France's Total prepares sale of $1.5 billion of UK North Sea fields

Reuters  |  LONDON 

By Ron and Denina

(Reuters) - France's Total is set to sell a third of its stake in along with other and gas assets in Britain's that could fetch a total of $1.5 billion, four banking and industry sources said.

The divestment will include stakes in a number of smaller fields Total acquired as part of the 2017 $4.95 billion deal to buy the and gas division of A.P. Moller-Maersk, the sources said. The deal was completed in March.

Those fields include Golden Eagle, in which Total has a 32 percent stake, as well as Dumbarton (30 percent), Bruce (43 percent) and Keith (25 percent).

Lynch will run the sale of the 20 percent stake in process, which leave Total with a 40 percent stake once complete. will lead the sale of the other stakes.

Total and Lambart Energy declined to comment. Lynch did not respond to a request for comment.

The sale is part of a broad change of in the ageing where veteran players are seeking to dispose of older fields with declining production while new, nimbler companies believe they can squeeze out more value.

Last week, said it was preparing to sell its fields in the central and have also sold a large number of fields in recent years.

The gas field, in which Total now has 60 percent, started production in February 2016 and can produce up to 90,000 barrels of equivalent per day.

Any deal for the Bruce and Keith fields is likely to be complicated, however.

London-listed Serica Energy, which agreed to acquire stakes in Bruce, Keith and the adjacent Rhum field from last year, is seeking a waiver from the to allow it to operate Rhum, which is 50 percent owned by Iran's national oil company, as prepares to re-impose sanctions on

Without a waiver, the field will have to shut down, leaving Bruce and Keith holding little value, the sources said.

(Editing by Edmund Blair)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, July 09 2018. 16:38 IST