BP Plc (BP/), Europe’s second-largest oil company, sold natural-gas assets in the U.K. North Sea to Perenco U.K. Ltd. for $400 million.
BP offered the fields for sale more than a year ago as part of its $38 billion divestment plan to shore up finances after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the worst in U.S. history. The assets sold today produce the equivalent of about 25,000 barrels of oil a day and bring disposals to $23 billion, BP said in a statement.
BP fell 2.2 percent to 471.4 pence in London today. The Sunday Times newspaper reported on March 25 that the fields, which produce gas in the southern half of the North Sea and ship it to the U.K., could fetch 2 billion pounds ($3.2 billion).
“The price looks a little light, but this is a really small transaction for them,” said Stuart Joyner, an analyst at Investec Securities Ltd. “It’s good news that they’re edging forward on their disposal program.”
BP produces more than 200,000 barrels of oil a day from the North Sea and, together with partners, has planned $10 billion of investment in the region over the next five years. The company received permission in October to develop the Clair Ridge project west of Scotland’s Shetland Islands.
“Perenco is committed to investing in and developing southern gas assets beyond BP’s plans, ultimately providing a longer-term future for the assets and the people who work there,” said Trevor Garlick, head of BP’s North Sea unit. “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.”
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