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Oil & Gas

UK oil and gas major and Gulf of Mexico operator reportedly in merger discussions

The UK’s largest oil and gas producer Harbour Energy is reportedly in discussions over a potential merger with Talos Energy, the Gulf of Mexico-focused oil and gas company.

The two companies are joint venture partners in the proposed Zama offshore oil development in Mexico and, in Harbour’s case especially, have ambitions to grow including via mergers and acquisitions.

The Reuters news agency quoted its own sources as saying that talks have been on and off between the two sides for at least six months, but negotiations had rekindled in recent weeks.

Reuters’ sources cautioned there was no guarantee that a deal would be reached.

Harbour’s management — led by chief executive Linda Cook — has been scathing about the impacts of the UK’s Energy Profits Levy, and has said the company is open to acquisition opportunities that would add a second core region to the business.

“We made progress diversifying organically while continuing to explore opportunities for meaningful but disciplined M&A,” Cook said in March this year. “And as we’ve demonstrated over the past year, if we don’t see acquisitions that are right for the company and our investors, we’ll continue to return excess cash to our shareholders.”

Talos recently completed the $1.1 billion acqusition of Gulf of Mexico-focused EnVen, and has been executing on multiple major carbon capture and storage lease acquisitions.

More details to come.

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