Maersk Intensifies M&A Search as Oil Unit Loses Biggest Field

A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S is intensifying its search for acquisitions to build up its oil unit as the Danish shipping and petroleum conglomerate loses Qatar, the biggest field in its portfolio.

“We’re getting some resources freed up now,” Maersk Oil Chief Executive Officer Jakob Thomasen said in an interview. “We appreciate the clarity that we now have after Qatar and can focus on other areas.”

Maersk said on Monday it will stop its 25-year involvement in the Al Shaheen offshore field when the current agreement expires in July 2017, after losing a bid for renewal. In a separate statement, Total SA said it won the tender.

 Maersk Oil has struggled with declining output from its maturing fields in the Danish North Sea and needs acquisitions for the unit to achieve critical scale. Qatar made up close to half the company’s 2015 production and has contributed the most to Maersk Oil’s production for the better part of the past decade.

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