Talisman Energy chief John Manzoni has admitted that a US $1.5 bn deal with Sinopec selling half the company’s UK North Sea assets will cut decommissioning liabilities.

More money will become available to enhance operations, and extend field lives, Manzoni has promised.

“With our recent UK North Sea transaction, we continue to focus and strengthen our portfolio while maintaining a strong balance sheet to weather current low natural gas prices in North America,” Manzoni declared as Talisman published second quarter and half year results.

“The new joint venture will spend more on a gross basis to improve operating efficiency and extend the life of these fields. The deal will reduce Talisman’s decommissioning liability in the UK, decrease future capital commitments and brings forward significant cash,” Manzoni stated. “We plan to use approximately $500 million of the proceeds to repurchase Talisman shares.”

Talisman disclosed on 25 July it was selling 49% of its UK North Sea assets to China’s Sinopec for US $1.5 billion, and this major deal includes half shares in Talisman’s Northern and Central Business Areas.