BP In Talks with Range of Buyers for Sale of UK O&G Assets

LONDON (Dow Jones Newswires), March 2, 2011

BP is talking to a range of interested buyers over the sale of some of its U.K. oil and gas interests, a company spokesman said Wednesday, with the North Sea element alone reported to be valued at $1 billion.

It is early days in the sale process, but the company had received a number of reverse inquiries before it confirmed last month it would sell the assets, the spokesman said.

These assets include the Wytch Farm onshore oilfield in Dorset, southern England, which BP has described as the largest onshore oilfield in Western Europe, and all its majority stakes in aging gas fields in the southern North Sea and associated infrastructure.

The company aims to complete the divestments around the end of 2011.

"The southern gas fields and Wytch Farm are strong assets," the spokesman said, adding that these assets aren't viewed as part of the company's longer-term investment strategy. "BP wants to focus on areas that generate longer-term value for the company," the spokesman said.

BP's in-house M&A team are working on the disposal with advisory help from French bank Societe Generale SA (SCGLY), the spokesman said.

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