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SSE offloads gas assets to Viaro Energy for £120mln

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SSE PLC (LON:SSE) announced it has agreed to sell all of its interests in its portfolio of gas exploration and production assets to Viaro Energy for £120mln.

The transaction is based on a ‘locked box’ economic date of March 2019 and is subject to regulatory approval and partner consent.

READ: SSE sells minority stake in world’s largest wind farm to Eni

The portfolio comprises non-operational equity shares in over 15 producing fields in three regions in the North Sea, where SSE will be obliged to pay 60% of the decommissioning costs.

The FTSE 100 power firm said these activities were not aligned with its strategic focus on reaching net-zero emissions.

The sale is part of SSE’s strategy to refocus investment on core networks and renewables businesses, with plans to invest £7.5bn in low-carbon energy infrastructure over the next five years and to treble renewable electricity output by 2030.

The company has so far secured over £1.4bn from the disposal of non-core assets as part of its £2bn-plus disposal programme by autumn 2021, including the recent exit from the energy-from-waste venture Multifuel Energy for £995mln, the Walney Offshore Wind Farm for £350mln and the meter asset provider MapleCo for £90mln.

“This sale clearly comes at a difficult time for the E&P sector, and the economy as a whole, but we believe it is the right move for our shareholders as we focus our resources on our core low-carbon businesses,” said finance director Gregor Alexander.

Shares rose 1% to 1,475p on Tuesday afternoon.

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