Britain’s Premier Oil Plc said on Jan. 14 it was looking to buy U.K. North Sea assets, after the Sunday Times reported that it was preparing to tap shareholders for cash to help it buy about $1.5 billion worth of oil fields.

The company’s shares fell as much as 12.5% following the report and was the top loser on the U.K. midcap index.

Premier Oil was in the running to pick up fields being sold by U.S. oil giant Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) and is considering a rights issue or share placing to help pay for them should it win the auction, according to the Sunday Times report.

The British oil and gas company said on Jan. 14 it was looking at opportunities to buy U.K. North Sea assets, but no decision had been taken to bid for assets currently being marketed by Chevron and how any deal would be financed.

Premier Oil could sell all or part of its Latin American business to help pay for the deal—and minimize the size of any share sale, the Sunday Times said, citing industry sources.

The company cut debt to $2.3 billion at the end of last year, below a previous forecast of $2.4 billion, according to a trading update last week.