BP plans to sell package of UK oil, gas fields


LONDON – BP said Tuesday it plans to sell stakes in several U.K. oil and gas fields in order to focus its resources and investment on other parts of the North sea.

The London-based company is looking to sell all its gas fields in the southern North Sea, including associated pipeline infrastructure and an onshore oilfield in Dorset. BP North Sea regional president Trevor Garlick said the North Sea is a “significant business” for the company, which is investing there at its highest level in more than 10 years.

“The assets we intend to divest are of high value but find it difficult to compete for capital and resource within our North Sea portfolio,” he said in a statement.

Divesting the stakes will allow the company to focus on the central and northern North Sea and assets in Norway, the company said.

BP has said it plans to shed up to $30 billion in assets by the end of 2011 to help pay for the disastrous Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The company did not provide a price tag Monday for the oil and gas fields it plans to sell in the U.K., but said it hopes to complete the divestments by the end of 2011, pending receipt of suitable offers and regulatory approvals.

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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