Oil titan BP is to pocket 400m dollars cash from selling its interests in its southern gas assets (SGA) in the UK North Sea to European oil and gas group Perenco.
The FTSE 100 company is currently well into its $38bn disposal programme and, after this agreement, has already divested around $23bn-worth of assets. The disposal programme started in 2010 and is expected to finish before the end of 2013.
SGA, originally put up for sale in February 2011, has been sold to Perenco for an initial payment of $100m; the remaining $300m will be paid on completion which is expected before the end of the year. A further $10m may be paid contingent on future gas prices.
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"The divestment of SGA is part of BP's strategy to develop a more focused North Sea business in the UK and Norway. BP has a multi-billion pound investment programme currently underway, with four major field development projects in the UK and a further two in Norway," the company said today.
BP's current production rate in the North Sea stands at over 200,000 barrels of oil equivalents per day and the company has over three billion barrels of proven and contingent resources available. It is investing $10bn net over the next five years in the North Sea.
"Actively managing our portfolio allows us to concentrate our people, capabilities and investment on sustaining BP's business in the North Sea for the long term," said Trevor Garlick, Regional President of BP North Sea.
It was reported yesterday that the company was looking to raise around $2bn from offloading some assets in the North Sea, prompted by the Chancellor George Osborne's decision in this year's Budget to underwrite 75% of the decommissioning costs of taking down oil rigs. Potential buyers of North Sea fields had previously been put off investing because of fears at facing a big bill at the end of a project.
Shares were down 1.16% at 476.3p in afternoon trade on Tuesday.
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