BP Sells Some North Sea Assets

Company sold its interests in a number of central North Sea oil and gas fields to TAQA for $1.058 billion.

BP ( IW1000/4) announced on Wednesday the sale of a package of North Sea assets to Abu Dhabi national oil firm TAQA for about $1.1 billion to help pay for the devastating 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

"BP announced today that it has agreed to sell its interests in a number of central North Sea oil and gas fields to TAQA for $1.058 billion plus future payments which, dependent on oil price and production, BP currently expects will exceed $250 million," the British energy giant said.

"The assets included in the sale are BP's interests in the BP-operated Maclure, Harding and Devenick fields and non-operated interests in the Brae complex of fields and the Braemar field."

The latest disposal is part of BP's previously-announced plans to sell $38 billion of assets by the end of 2013 to help pay the clean-up bill and compensation costs for the US Gulf disaster.

The London-listed energy major has now agreed to sell assets worth about $37 billion since the start of 2010.

Wednesday's news comes almost two weeks after BP agreed to pay more than $4.5 billion in U.S. fines related to the devastating 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, including a record $4.0 billion to settle criminal claims.

Chief executive Bob Dudley added that BP would continue to focus on high value assets.

"This transaction is in line with BP's strategy to focus on a smaller number of higher-value assets with long-term growth potential and to continue the simplification of our portfolio with a further reduction of operated infrastructure and wells," Dudley said in the statement.

The deal, which remains subject to third party and regulatory approvals, is expected to complete in the second quarter of next year.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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