"It was a pleasure to again be supported by Joe and his team for the funding of another landmark deal for the North Sea. The transaction is a further demonstration of DNB, Chrysaor and the other arrangers working with WFW to adapt a traditional RBL structure to provide the flexibility to utilise an RBL facility for big-ticket acquisitions whilst continuing to support the existing portfolios."
WFW advises lenders on US$3bn RBL facility to support Chrysaor’s acquisition of ConocoPhillips’ North Sea assets30 September 2019
WATSON FARLEY & WILLIAMS (“WFW”) HAS ADVISED DNB BANK, BANK OF MONTREAL, BNP PARIBAS, AND ING BANK AS ARRANGERS AND A SYNDICATE OF 19 LENDERS ON AN UPSIZED US$3BN RESERVE-BASED LENDING FACILITY (“RBL”) TO CHRYSAOR FOR THE ACQUISITION, IN CONJUNCTION WITH ITS EXISTING CASH RESOURCES, OF CONOCOPHILLIPS’ PORTFOLIO OF UK NORTH SEA OIL AND GAS ASSETS.
The acquisition makes Chrysaor one of the largest net oil and gas producers in the UK North Sea, boosting its production by circa 72,000 barrels a day to 195,000 and accelerating its strategy to become one of Europe’s leading independent, full cycle E&P companies. The assets purchased include two new operating hubs in the UK Central North Sea ‐ Britannia and J‐Block – and an interest in the Clair Field located west of Shetland. Chrysaor also assumes responsibility for the ongoing decommissioning of ConocoPhillips UK’s end-of-life assets.
Chrysaor is backed by Harbour Energy, a permanent capital energy investment vehicle advised by EIG Global Energy Partners. Prior to this acquisition, Chrysaor already owned interests in five of the UK North Sea’s ten largest production hubs, operating eight ﬁelds with 21 wells as well as partnering with some of the world’s largest companies in 17 non-operated ﬁelds with 147 wells.ConocoPhillips Company explores for, produces, transports and markets crude oil, natural gas, natural gas liquids, liquefied natural gas, and bitumen worldwide. Following this disposal, it retains its London‐based commercial trading business and a 40.25% interest in the Teesside oil terminal
The WFW London team advising the syndicate on the key financing documentation was led by Partner Joe Levin, supported by Associates Oliver Acland and Sebastian Lello. Corporate Partner Heike Trischmann and Real Estate Senior Associate Peter Rutledge provided advice on due diligence matters, while Corporate Partner Andy Savage and Associate Alice Everley reviewed the sale and purchase documentation for the lenders. Tax advice was provided by Partner Tom Jarvis and Senior Associate David Jacob.
Joe also led the WFW team that advised this syndicate of lenders on the original US$1.5bn RBL facility to Chrysaor for its acquisition of a portfolio of UK North Sea assets from Royal Dutch Shell in November 2017, a transaction that garnered considerable media recognition and won several awards.
Joe commented: “We’re privileged to have once again advised so many leading banks on another landmark acquisition by Chrysaor in the UK North Sea. That they opted for WFW to do so demonstrates the firm’s growing reputation for unrivalled expertise advising on complex, large scale upstream finance transactions”.
Kenneth Baillie, Executive Director, DNB, commented: “It was a pleasure to again be supported by Joe and his team for the funding of another landmark deal for the North Sea. The transaction is a further demonstration of DNB, Chrysaor and the other arrangers working with WFW to adapt a traditional RBL structure to provide the flexibility to utilise an RBL facility for big-ticket acquisitions whilst continuing to support the existing portfolios.”
Chrysaor were advised by Clifford Chance and ConocoPhillips by CMS.
Senior Associate London
Senior Associate London