December 21, 2018 / 10:26 AM / 6 months ago

Total in talks to sell North Sea oil, gas assets to private firms

FILE PHOTO: The logo of French oil giant Total is pictured at a petrol station in Latresne near Bordeaux, France, November 19, 2018. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - French energy giant Total (TOTF.PA) is in advanced talks with privately owned firms Albion Energy and First Alpha Energy Capital on the sale of some of its British North Sea assets, two industry sources said.

In July, four banking sources told Reuters Total was set to sell a third of its stake in the Laggan Tormore gas field along with other oil and gas assets North Sea that could fetch a total of $1.5 billion.

Total and First Alpha had no comment. Albion could not be reached for comment.

Total sold its interest in the Bruce and Keith fields in the North Sea during the summer. This included stakes in a number of smaller fields Total acquired as part of the 2017 $4.95 billion deal to buy the oil and gas division of A.P. Moller-Maersk (MAERSKb.CO), the sources said in July.

Albion, linked to Heritage Oil founder Executive Tony Buckingham, is fully financed through a hedge fund, one of the sources said.

First Alpha, established in 2016 and private-equity backed, and has no assets so far, according to its website. Its founders include former BP (BP.L) and OMV (OMVV.VI) manager David Latin and its advisors former BG Chief Frank Chapman and former OMV CFO David Davies.

Total’s fields include Golden Eagle, in which Total has a 32 percent stake, and Dumbarton, in which it holds 30 percent.

One of the sources said Premier Oil (PMO.L) was no longer in the process to buy Total’s assets.

Additional reporting by Bate Felix in Paris; Editing by David Evans and Edmund Blair

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