British North Sea-focused oil and gas producers, Oranje-Nassau Energie (ONE) and Dyas, have agreed to merge to expand production, the privately-owned companies said Dec. 20.

The merged group, ONE-Dyas, will operate alongside a group of several relatively large independent oil producers that entered the North Sea in recent years, including private equity-backed Chrysaor and Neptune.

The tie-up will enable ONE-Dyas “to pursue further growth opportunities,” according to the statement.

The two Netherlands-based firms expect to have a joint production in 2019 of 35,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d), they said.

Dyas holds stakes in several major British North Sea fields, including Nexen-operated Buzzard, Premier Oil-operated Catcher and Total-operated Elgin Franklin. ONE also holds stakes in Buzzard, Elgin Franklin and Breagh.

The company will be led by Robert Baurdoux, the current CEO of Dyas, while ONE’s current CEO Alexander Berger will act as executive director.

Under the agreement, ONE will own 51% of the shares in the combined group, while SHV Holdings, Dyas’s parent company, will hold the remaining 49%.

The deal is expected to close in first-half 2019.

The two had a combined production of over 40,000 boe/d in 2017, according to their websites.