Ineos, a private-owned private-owned energy and private-owned chemical company, is in exclusive negotiations with the US oil major ConocoPhillips for the acquisition of its property in the North Sea.
A potential contract, which costs more than $ 3 billion in industrial sources, could transform Sir Jim Ratcliffe into the main oil and gas production company in the North Sea, based on other acquisitions and ownership of infrastructure, refineries and chemical products fed plum.
People familiar with the sales process said Ineos paid ConocoPhillips a "significant" deposit to exclusivity negotiate for three months, fearful of competition from other customers including private companies that have an increasing role in the North Sea.
The property of ConocoPhillips is one of the blocks on the block that gives companies the chance to get a significant footprint in the North Sea at a time when energy specialists, especially from the US, were returning to a mature basin focusing on the US shingles sector and other perspectives.
A spokeswoman for ConocoPhillips said she was in exclusive negotiations with Ineos for her property in the UK, excluding the Teeside oil terminal and London.
If an agreement is reached, it would be the last brave move by Sir Jim to build his business empire by borrowing to finance acquisitions in the last decade. Ineos is the largest British private company with sales of 60 billion dollars and earnings before interest, taxes and other expenses of $ 7 billion last year.
Sir Jim founded the company in 1998 and owns a majority share in the business. The company has expanded its petrochemicals corporation into an industrial conglomerate with positions in other industries including shale research, automotive and fashion. Last week, Ineos added Ashland Global Holdings resin to the US, worth $ 1.1 billion.
Ineos also owns Grangemouth refinery and petrochemical locations in the central belt of Scotland, as well as the associated Forties Solid Fuel System that supplies much of the North Sea oil and gas to the coast.
ConocoPhillips assets include 7.5% interest in the Clair field, which the US company already had 16.5% stake in July, through the replacement of assets with BP.
Neptune Energi, a private equity firm run by former CEO Sam Center Laidlaw, is also looking for ConocoPhillips property. Chrisaor, another privately owned group that bought a series of marine goods from Roial Dutch Shell last year, was also in the running, people who are familiar with the conversations. Both companies declined to comment.
Ineos confirmed on Sunday that he had spoken to ConocoPhillips, who first reported the Sundai Times, but did not comment on the exclusivity arrangement.
Additional reporting by Silvia Pfeifer and Javier Espinoza