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Private-equity house puts Alpha 'up for sale', report says

UK oil and gas firm Alpha Petroleum has been put up for sale by its private-equity backer, a news report said.

Rothschild & Co and BNP Paribas have been appointed by Petroleum Equity to advise on the sale, Upstream reported, citing a sales flyer and industry sources.

The document said Petroleum Equity hoped to sell 70% (fully carried), or 100% of Alpha Petroleum, according to Upstream.

London-based Petroleum Equity was prepared to retain or transfer operatorship of Alpha’s flagship North Sea project, Cheviot.

Alpha has been trying to secure financing for Cheviot, east of Shetland, for some time.

It appeared to suffer a recent setback when vessel contractor Teekay pulled the plug on a deal to provide its Petrojarl Varg FPSO for the field.

Cheviot is a redevelopment of the Emerald field, which was discovered in 1975 and initially developed in the mid-90s.

The field was abandoned early, with only 8% of the original oil in place recovered.

Alpha was awarded the licence in 2003 and is targeting oil reserves of at least 55 million barrels of oil, and future gas volumes of 120 billion cubic feet.

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