South Korean state-run Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC) has launched the sale of stakes in a number of oil and gas fields in the UK, Dutch and Danish North Sea, according to a document seen by Reuters.

This is the latest attempt by KNOC to dispose of parts or all of its North Sea subsidiary Dana Petroleum in an effort to reduce its elevated debt levels.


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It is also part of a broader retreat by major oil companies from the ageing basin in recent years.

Dana Petroleum in January launched a process to sell a 10% stake in the Greater Tolmount Area and its entire operations in the Netherlands and Denmark, the sales document said.

The sale was part of a "strategic review," it said.

Oil and gas production from these assets is expected to rise to 20,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2025 when taking into account near-term drilling projects, according to the document.

Dutch bank ING was appointed to run the process.

KNOC did not respond to a request for comment from Reuters on Thursday. ING was not available to comment to Reuters.

KNOC tried in late 2019 to sell its entire 50% stake in Tolmount, which is operated by Premier Oil, which was taken over by rival North Sea operator Chrysaor. The Tolmount field is expected to start production this year.

KNOC bought Aberdeen-based Dana, an exploration and production company with operations across the North Sea, the Netherlands and Egypt, in 2010 for $2.9 billion, including debt.