Cairn Energy to buy North Sea blocks owner Nautical Petroleum for $642 mn

British oil explorer Cairn Energy Plc today said it would pay £414 million ($642 million) for acquiring Nautical Petroleum, the owner of some North Sea's oil fields.

Edinburgh-based Cairn Energy has offered 450 pence a share, a premium of 51.1 per to Nautical's closing price of 297.8 pence yesterday.

The proposed acquisition comes two months after Cairn acquired its Norwegian rival Agora Oil and Gas for £290 million ($450 million).

Stavanger, Norway-based Agora, owned by investment trust RIT Capital Partners, Lord Jacob Rothschild's family and the management, holds interest in several blocks in the North Sea.

Following the January sale of assets in India worth $8.48 billion, Cairn Energy has returned $3.5 billion to shareholders in February and has recently spent more than $1 billion in acquiring North Sea assets.

London-based Nautical Petroleum operates 13 licences and has interests in another eight in the UK, Ireland and France, according to the company's website.