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Malaysian firm Hibiscus clinches deal to buy Crown discovery

Malaysian firm Hibiscus Petroleum has struck a deal to acquire a North Sea discovery from two UK oil and gas businesses.

Hibiscus will pay up to £4 million for the licence containing Crown, understood to contain 8 million barrels of oil and 6 billion cubic feet of gas.

The sellers are London-headquartered United Oil & Gas, which owns a 95% stake in the licence, and Berkshire-based Swift Exploration, which has 5%.

Hibiscus has agreed to make a non-refundable payment of £805m upon completion of the deal.

An additional £2.4m will be paid before the end of 2020, subject to certain milestones being achieved, with a further £805m to follow once the field comes on stream.

If the milestones are not reached, the licence will revert back to United and Swift, who were awarded the licence in 2018.

Crown is located about 155 miles north-east of Aberdeen and was discovered by ConocoPhillips in 1998.

Hibiscus bought 50% of the nearby Marigold and Sunflower fields from Indian firm Aban in October 2018.

In May, Hibiscus said it expected to have a field development plan in place for Marigold and Sunflower by the end of this year.

It was choosing between a fixed platform, a “floating solution”, and a tieback to existing infrastructure.

Hibiscus’ other UK North Sea interests are in the Anasuria Cluster, 110 miles east of Aberdeen.

The cluster comprises the Teal, Teal South, Guillemot and Cook fields, which produce to the Anasuria floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel.

The assets are operated by Anasuria Operating Company (AOC), a joint venture between Hibiscus and fellow Malaysian firm Ping Petroleum.

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