BP IS selling a clutch of assets in the Gulf of Mexico for £3.5 billion to US-based explorer Plains.
The deal – which covers five oil and gas fields – will bring BP closer to its target of around £24bn worth of disposals by the end of next year as part of its plan to raise cash to pay for the costs of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.
The latest disposal means it has now reached agreement to sell assets with a total value of more than £20bn since the start of 2010.
BP chief executive Bob Dudley yesterday reassured investors the sale did not signal a departure from the region.
He said: “While these assets no longer fit our business strategy, the Gulf of Mexico remains a key part of BP’s global exploration and production portfolio and we intend to continue investing at least £2.5bn there annually over the next decade.”
Meanwhile, Tullow Oil yesterday said it had made its first major discovery of gas off the coast of Kenya.
Exploration director Angus McCoss said it was an “encouraging start” to the company’s exploration campaign in the region, although the news was twinged with some disappointment that no oil has yet been found at the site.
The assets were producing the equivalent of 59,500 barrels of oil a day in July, according to Texas-based Plains, which is also acquiring Royal Dutch Shell’s 50 per cent interest in the Holstein field for £350m.
Shares in BP closed up 3.1p at 437.8p yesterday. Tullow shares closed down 18p at 1,386p.
• Talisman Energy, the Canadian oil explorer with significant North Sea interests, yesterday said chief executive John Manzoni had stepped down and was being replaced by Hal Kvisle, former chief executive of TransCanada and a director of Talisman. Manzoni had held the post for five years.
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