NORTH Sea-focused Neptune Energy has sold takes in fields in deals worth up to $35 million (£26m) in total.

Private equity-backed Neptune said the sales will allow it to focus investment on core assets.

The deals suggest the buyers still see value in the producing fields concerned in spite of growing calls for curbs to be placed on oil and gas industry activity on environmental grounds.

The fallout from the pandemic has lent impetus to a shake-up in the industry, which some investors believe has created the opportunity to buy assets at attractive prices.

The process may be accelerated if firms decide to shift investment from the oil and gas sector into markets such as renewable energy.

READ MORE: Orkney oil terminal set to become hydrogen production hub

The deals struck by Neptune involve relatively small stakes in the Brage and Ivar Aasen fields in the North Sea and in the Draugen field in the Norwegian Sea.

The buyers are OKEA and M Vest Energy.

On its website OKEA says it aims to be the most efficient and profitable developer and operator of smaller fields on the Norwegian shelf.

“We manage and develop resources on behalf of society. Reducing the footprint from our production is important,” says the company.

M Vest Energy says it will use innovation and special expertise to build an energy business using rapid and intelligent practices, in waters dominated by giants.

Neptune is a significant player in the UK North Sea with interests in a range of fields. The company operates the giant Cygnus gas field. It is developing the Seagull oil field east of Aberdeen with BP and Japex.

READ MORE: BP increases valuation of North Sea assets after oil price rise  

Earlier this week BP sold a 2% stake in the Norwegian oil and gas business it formed with Aker in 2016 for 2.4bn NOK (£0.2bn) through a placing to investors. BP said the value of the Aker BP venture had increased greatly since 2016. It has realised some of that while retaining a significant interest in the business.