Total to take over Maersk Oil's North Sea assets in £5.8bn deal
French energy giant Total has struck an agreement to acquire the oil division of Danish firm Maersk in a 7.45 billion US dollars (£5.8 billion) deal.
It will see Total seize control of Maersk Oil's assets in the UK's sector of the North Sea, including the Culzean gas field.
Under the terms of the transaction, Maersk will receive 4.95 billion US dollars (£3.8 billion) worth of Total shares and Total will assume 2.5 billion US dollars (£1.9 billion) of Maersk Oil's debt.
Total said the combination with Maersk Oil offers it an "exceptional overlap" of upstream businesses which will increase its competitiveness through growing assets and 400 million US dollars (£311 million) in annual cost-saving synergies.
The cost savings will be seen "in particular by the combination of assets of Total and Maersk Oil in North Sea".
The deal will give the French firm access to around one billion barrels worth of oil reserves, 85% of which are in OECD countries, including more than 80% in the North Sea.
Alongside Maersk Oil's UK North Sea assets, Total will also take over its Danish and Norwegian operations.
Total chairman and chief executive Patrick Pouyanne said: "The combination of Maersk Oil's North Western Europe businesses with our existing portfolio will position Total as the second operator in the North Sea with strong production profiles in UK, Norway and Denmark, thus increasing exposure to conventional assets in OECD countries.
"We are also very pleased that we will have a new anchor point in Denmark which will host our North Sea Business Unit and supervise our operations in Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands."