Oil titan BP is to sell off 5.55bn dollars-worth of assets in the deepwater US Gulf of Mexico, marking further progress in its divestment programme as it continues to raise funds to pay off costs relating to the 'Deepwater Horizon' oil spill in 2010.
The group has agreed to offload a number of oil and gas fields in the area to Plains Exploration and Production: three BP-operated assets (Marlin hub, Horn Mountain and Holstein) and two non-operated assets (Ram Powell and Diana Hoover).
"While these assets no longer fit our business strategy, the Gulf of Mexico remains a key part of BP's global exploration and production portfolio and we intend to continue investing at least $4 billion there annually over the next decade," said BP's chief executive officer Bob Dudley.
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As part of its divestment programme, BP is attempting to sell off $38bn of assets between 2010 and 2013. Including today's announcement, BP has now entered into agreements to sell assets worth over $32bn.
"This sale, as with previous divestments, is consistent with our strategy of playing to our strengths as a company and positioning us for long-term growth. In the Gulf of Mexico that means focusing future investments on our strong set of producing assets and promising exploration prospects."
BP said that sale was in line with its strategy of "playing to its strengths" and reflected its focus on product more high-margin barrels from fewer and largest assets.
Going forward, BP said it will concentrate on growth opportunities in the Gulf around its four major operating production hubs and three non-operated production hubs in the deepwater, as well as on large exploration and appraisal opportunities in the Paleogene (geological period) and elsewhere.
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