TAQA in $1.3B Deal to Buy BP North Sea Assets

BP announced Wednesday that it has sold a "package" of its UK North Sea oil and gas fields to Abu Dhabi government-owned TAQA for an initial $1.1 billion. The deal will also see BP receive future payments, dependent on oil price and production, that the firm expects to exceed $250 million.

The assets BP is selling include its interests in the BP-operated Maclure, Harding and Devenick fields in the central North Sea, along with its non-operated interests in the Brae complex of fields and the Braemar field.

"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," BP Group Chief Executive Bob Dudley commented in a company statement.

Trevor Garlick, who heads BP's North Sea operations, added that the firm would continue with a focused investment program in the UK and Norway, and it plans to spend $10 billion there over the next five years.

Mike Tholen, who serves as economics and commercial director for trade body Oil & Gas UK, commented in a statement from the organization:

"We warmly welcome the purchase of UK oil and gas fields by independent oil and gas company, TAQA, which is another vote of confidence in Britain's oil and gas industry and reflects the very significant potential that remains here. The transfer of these assets will bring forward additional investment and innovation with a resulting boost to jobs, oil and gas production and of course the tax revenues that come with that."

TAQA operates in the North Sea via its UK subsidiary TAQA Bratani. The firm already has interests in the Brae fields, which it acquired from Talisman Energy in January 2008, and it also operates the Brent System pipeline.

New York-based investment bank Jefferies acted as financial adviser to BP for the transaction.



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