GIC joins private equity firms to invest $625m in North Sea-focused oil firm

SINGAPORE - Sovereign wealth fund GIC is pumping in money into a new oil company, Siccar Point Energy.

GIC has joined private equity firms Blackstone and Blue Water Energy to put in an initial sum of US$500 million (S$625 million) into the freshly set-up outfit that will focus on the North Sea.

Siccar Point Energy will take part in the full range of the business, from oil exploration to the development and production process.

It will initially focus on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), which is the body of waters around the United Kingdom believed to be rich in oil and other resources.

The firm said it will adopt innovative technologies in a bid to unlock the maximum commercial potential of oil resources.

It added that it is being led by industry veterans, including chief executive Jonathan Roger, the former managing director of utility firm Centrica Energy and ex-chief operating officer at oil and gas firm Venture Production.

Mr Roger said in a statement released on Sunday: "This is a great time to build a business in the North Sea for a well capitalised and experienced team with a focused strategy.

"It is a period during which some of the largest upstream companies are cutting back on capital expenditures and consolidating their global asset portfolios."

Details of GIC's investment into the venture were not immediately available.

The sovereign wealth fund has had an active month. It announced last week that it will invest US$104 million in Taiwan-based music streaming services provider, KKBox.

Earlier last month, it said it acquired an 18.5 per cent interest in Brazilian education services firm, Abril Educacao for an undisclosed sum.