Cairn ‘may bid for $2bn Dong North Sea assets’

Edinburgh-based oil exploration company Cairn Energy has emerged as a frontrunner to buy North Sea oil and gas assets put up for sale by Denmark’s Dong Energy, according to a Reuters report.

Talks between A.P. Moller-Maersk and Dong about the assets stalled at the end of last year when the two Danish firms failed to agree on a price, the report said.

Final bids for the assets, which could be worth up to $2 billion, are due by the end of February, sources told Reuters.

Cairn Energy and Dong Energy declined to comment.

Reuters said several other potential bidders had emerged including Ineos, private equity firm EIG Global Energy Partners and oil and gas firm DEA.

Dong Energy said in November it would exit oil and gas to focus on offshore wind power.