Friday, March 2, 2018

Owner of World's Largest Container Shipping Line Sells Off Part of Energy Holdings

French Take on Danish Oil Activities
Shipping News Feature

DENMARK – Having said its energy divisions would 'require different solutions for future development' when splitting its logistics and energy operations in 2016, AP Møller - Mærsk now tells us that the Danish Energy Agency has approved the sale of the shipping conglomerate’s entire Mærsk Oil & Gas division to French multinational integrated oil and gas giant,Total, as part of Maersk’s strategy to separate its activities in order to create an integrated transport and logistics company. The Danish Energy Agency's Director Morten Bæk welcomed the French presence in the Danish market, saying:

"It is gratifying that there has now come a new strong player in the North Sea, who sees a long-term potential in the development of the area. Total has the necessary technical and economic muscles to fulfil Mærsk's obligations in Danish territory. I look forward to knowing the new owners and hearing about their future visions for oil and gas extraction in the Danish part of the North Sea. "

As part of the agreement Total says it will take over Maersk Oil’s organisation, portfolio, obligations and rights with minimal pre-conditions. The Danish Energy Agency's approval of the transfer does contain some conditions however, including that AP Moller -Maersk, as seller, assumes a secondary liability for the decommissioning of existing Danish offshore facilities corresponding to Maersk Oil’s 31.2% interest in the Danish Underground Consortium (DUC) should Total be unable to cover such costs.

The DUC is a joint venture between A.P. Møller-Mærsk (31.2 %), Shell (36.8 %), Chevron (12 %) and Nordsøfonden (20 %) and is the owner of the key points of the infrastructure of all activity in the Danish sector of the North Sea. The agreement to sell Maersk Oil to Total for $7.45 billion was announced in August last year, subject to regulatory approval from relevant authorities.

The closing of the transaction is expected to take place during first quarter 2018. Maersk says the separation of the energy businesses was decided as part of the company’s strategic decision to focus Maersk’s future activities on transport and logistics, as well as a result of recent years’ oil and gas industry and market developments.