COPENHAGEN May 4 DONG Energy said
it has reached a settlement with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine
Engineering and Technip over who bears
responsibility for construction errors concerning an offshore
platform for the idled Hejre field.
The settlement clears a major hurdle for the Danish
company's plans to divest its oil and gas unit to focus on its
growing business of developing offshore wind farms.
DONG said in a statement that the agreement will reduce the
2.5 billion Danish crowns ($367 million) of provisions it made
in relation to the Hejre field ahead of its listing, which was
one of the largest in the world last year.
It will also have a positive impact of around 900 million
crowns on operating profit in DONG's Discontinued Operations,
the company said, a business area not included in its financial
guidance for the full year.
"It is a significantly better deal than what they had dared
to hope for when they made the provisions," Sydbank analyst
Morten Imsgard said.
"It is also positive with regards to taking the sale (of the
oil and gas unit) further as you don't have to discuss an
additional risk now," Imsgard said.
DONG said it was uncertain whether the Hejre project, which
was halted more than a year ago, would resume. It estimates the
field holds 171 million barrels of oil equivalents.
"The settlement does not affect the ongoing assessment with
Bayerngas on re-development alternatives for the Hejre field,"
DONG reiterated last week that it expects to divest the oil
and gas unit this year.
Independent oil exploration company Cairn Energy and
Danish shipping and oil conglomerate A. P. Moller-Maersk
have been mentioned by sources familiar with the
matter as being among potential buyers for the oil and gas
interests, which could be worth around $2 billion.
($1 = 6.8066 Danish crowns)
(Reporting by Stine Jacobsen and Teis Jensen; Editing by Susan