BP Seeks to Sell Ormen Lange Interests

BP is seeking offers for its interests in the Ormen Lange gas field, offshore Norway, and related gas export pipeline. The company hopes to reach agreement on a sale by the end of 2004 with completion early in 2005.

BP's Norwegian subsidiary, BP Norge, holds a 10.34 per cent equity interest in the Ormen Lange field and a 10.2 per cent participating interest in the Langeled pipeline system.

Scott Kerr, managing director BP Norge, said: "BP holds a non-strategic, non-operating minority stake in the Ormen Lange field and we prefer to use our resources in projects that are strategic for BP."

The Ormen Lange field, discovered in 1997, is the second largest gas field on the Norwegian continental shelf. The field is located 120 kilometers off the west coast of Norway, covering an area of 350 square kilometers in water depths of 800-1200 meters. The field's development plan is based on 14 trillion cubic feet (397 billion cubic meters) of gas resources.

Gas from the field will be exported to UK and European markets via the new 1200 kilometer Langeled pipeline.

Development of the field was approved by the Norwegian parliament in April 2004 and first production is expected in 2007.

JPMorgan Chase & Co have been retained by BP to advise on the planned sale.

The partners in the Ormen Lange development are: Norsk Hydro (18.07 percent and development phase operator), Shell (17.04 percent and production phase operator), Petoro (36.48 percent), Statoil (10.84 percent), BP Norge (10.34 percent) and ExxonMobil (7.23 percent).