North Sea oilfields sale to Russian oligarchs under threat from UK

German Khan Mikhail Fridman

North Sea oilfields sale: The UK government is threatening to block the sale of 12 North Sea oil and gas fields by Germany’s RWE Dea to LetterOne, the privately owned Luxembourg-based global investment vehicle backed by Russian billionaires Mikhail Fridman and German Khan. “If the proposed acquisition were to proceed in its current form, he [UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey] would be minded to require the companies to arrange for a further sale to a suitable third party,” the Department of Energy said in a statement on Saturday, suggesting that the deal could contravene the sanctions imposed by the US and EU on Russia in light of events in Ukraine and Crimea.  In response  to his missive, RWE Dea’s owners RWE, said that the  €5bn deal would go ahead as planned today. The UK’s decision is seen as a blow to the two Russians, who have both sold a large chunk of their Russian oil and gas assets and have ambitions to turn LetterOne into a top global energy player.