COPENHAGEN - An A.P. Moller-Maersk executive said on Sunday a deal to buy Devon Energy Corp's stakes in two Gulf of Mexico oilfields was off after other owners used purchase rights, but Maersk may still buy a stake in a third field under the initial deal.
In December the Danish shipping and oil group agreed to buy U.S. Devon's stakes in the Cascade, St. Malo and Jack oilfields in the Gulf of Mexico for $1.3 billion, but the firms also said the deal was subject to a waiver of preferential purchase rights held by other partners.
The deal as it stands is cancelled, from our point of view, for the Cascade and St Malo fields, Jacob Bo Thomasen, head of Maersk's oil and gas branch, told Reuters.
The preliminary deal in December involved a 50 percent stake in the Petrobras-operated Cascade field and a 25 percent stake in each of the Chevron-operated Jack and St. Malo fields.
The partners in the Cascade field and the St. Malo field have exercised their preferential purchase rights and Maersk Oil is now considering its options under the purchase agreement with respect to the Jack field, Maersk said in a statement late on Friday.
Thomasen declined to say which partners to Devon had exercised their preferential purchase rights, and to what extent, in Cascade and St Malo, but noted that the sole partner to Devon in Cascade is Brazilian state oil firm Petrobras.
Thomasen said it was a potential possibility that Maersk still be interested in the stake in Jack, and that Maersk expects to publish more information on the matter within a couple of weeks.
The reason we go out with this now is that there are material changes in the deal. There are options in the agreement with Devon and we are looking at them.
Maersk, which wants to expand its oil operations, said in December its share of recoverable resources from the fields would probably be more than 200 million barrels of oil equivalent.
While acknowledging the Devon deal had taken a disappointing turn, Thomasen said it was one of many acquisition possibilities for Maersk: We are moving on, and we are primarily looking where we are already present -- Britain, Norway, Denmark, the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, Angola, Qatar and the Arabic region. But we also look at alternative locations.
Devon put its Gulf of Mexico assets up for sale in November. (Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; Editing by Greg Mahlich)