'Flexible' Whalsay on the hunt for Bentley partners

Whalsay Energy is seeking partners to help it develop the Bentley field in the UK North Sea.

Bentley used to be operated by Xcite Energy, which folded in 2017 when its bondholders rejected a debt-for-equity swap deal to rescue the struggling firm.

Whalsay, led by executive chairman Paul Warwick, bought the stricken business for $1 and has spent the subsequent years trying to make progress with Bentley.

It is prepared to farm out a majority stake and the operatorship of the licence, according to a marketing document drawn up by energy advisory firm Gneiss and published on Whalsay’s website.

Gneiss said it had been retained by Whalsay to secure partners to participate in the development.

It said Whalsay could be “flexible” on the terms and structure of a farm-in and would let the prospective partner pick the final development concept.

Whalsay has developed its own concept, based on a 20-slot platform transferring crude to a vessel for export via shuttle tanker.

The company said investment of £590 million would be required to deliver first oil, currently slated for the fourth quarter of 2023.

Whalsay is aiming for a final investment decision before the end of this year, according to the Oil and Gas Authority’s projects portal.

Bentley contains P50 reserves of 900 million barrels, but Whalsay plans to adopt a phased approach to deliver the oil.

The first phase would target 130m barrels, with peak production of up to 45,000 barrels per day.

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Craigmill, Pitcaple, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, United Kingdom, AB51 5HP
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