for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up

Norway's Aker BP eyes foreign oil assets, CEO says

OSLO, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Norway’s Aker BP could expand its oil and gas business to other countries if it comes across competitive opportunities abroad, its chief executive told Reuters on Thursday.

Any move to invest outside its native Norway would be a change of strategy for Aker BP, which was founded in 2016 through the combination BP’s Norwegian unit with oil and gas assets controlled by Aker.

Among the locations the company has looked at is Brazil, where one of its sister firms, engineering company Aker Solutions, has done business for years, Aker BP Chief Executive Karl Johnny Hersvik said in an interview.

“Brazil is interesting. It’s a highly prolific region,” Hersvik said, but added he had not yet found assets that would justify an investment there.

State-controlled Brazilian operator Petrobras, which is seeking to pay off debt and sharpen its focus, last year put up for sale the Albacora and Albacora Leste fields with a combined daily output of about 77,000 barrels of oil equivalent.

“We have looked at that divestment campaign, and decided not to participate,” he said of the two Albacora fields.

Aker BP already plans a big expansion in Norway, with a dozen projects due to come on stream in the next several years and with a package of tax incentives introduced by the country’s parliament to boost activity.

“Any entry outside of the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS), but also mergers and acquisition activity on the NCS need to make sense in that context,” Hersvik said.

Aker BP, which last year pumped 210,700 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) plans to raise its production in Norway by 70% to more than 350,000 boepd in 2028, it announced earlier on Thursday.

Norwegian billionaire Kjell Inge Roekke owns 40% of Aker BP’s shares via his Aker investment firm, while Britain’s BP holds a 30% stake.

Aker BP’s shares traded 2.3% lower for the day at 1312 GMT, underperforming an average 0.3% drop in European oil and gas stocks. (Additional reporting by Gram Slattery in Rio de Janeiro, editing by Terje Solsvik and David Evans)

for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up