Moller-Maersk calls off $1.3 billion acquisition of two oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico

A P Moller-Maersk Group, the Danish business with interests in container services, energy and shipping, has called off its $1.3-billion acquisition of Devon Energy Corporation's interests in two oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Copenhagen-based Maersk called off the acquisition late last week of the interest in Cascade and St. Malo oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico belonging to the Oklahoma-based Devon Energy after other partners in the fields exercised their preferential purchase rights.
 
In December, Maersk announced that it was acquiring Devon Energy Corporation's interests in the Cascade, Jack and St. Malo oil fields in the Gulf of Mexico for $1.3 billion, subject to a waiver of the preferential purchase rights held by the other partners in the fields as well as additional closing conditions and regulatory approvals. (See: Maersk acquires Devon Energy's Gulf of Mexico oil stakes for $1.3 billion)

The projects are in the deepwater Walker Ridge federal lease area offshore of Louisiana and Maersk was to acquire a 50-per cent participating interest in the Cascade field and a 25-per cent participating interest in each of the Jack and St. Malo fields.

Maersk Oil's estimated share of recoverable resources from the three fields combined is more than 200 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Brazilian state oil company Petrobras-operated Cascade field is expected to commence production in 2010, while the Chevron operated Jack and St. Malo fields are expected to commence production in 2014.
 
Maersk, ranked 106 on the Fortune Global 500 list for 2009 and Denmark's biggest company, said in a statement, ''The partners in the Cascade field and the St. Malo field have exercised their preferential purchase rights and Maersk Oil is now considering its options under the purchase agreement with respect to the Jack field.''
 
This acquisition was to enable Maersk Oil, a subsidiary of Moller-Maersk Group to expand its presence in the Gulf of Mexico area.
 
Apart from the deepwater Gulf of Mexico as well as offshore Brazil, Maersk Oil is engaged as operator in deepwater activities offshore Angola, where the Chissonga discovery was made earlier this year.

It also explores for oil in collaboration with Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista's OGX Petroleo e Gas Participaciones SA off the coast of Brazil.