BP (NYSE:BP) announced the intention of selling its interests in a number of operated oil and gas fields in the UK.
The assets involved are the Wytch Farm onshore oil field in Dorset and all of BP's operated gas fields in the Southern North Sea, including associated pipeline infrastructure and the Dimlington terminal.
BP anticipates that the staff currently working on these assets will transfer employment to the new buyer when the divestments are completed.
These divestments will allow BP to focus resources and investment on its diverse central North Sea, northern North Sea, West of Shetland and Norway assets and on successful delivery of its new major projects.
Trevor Garlick, Regional President, BP North Sea said: "The North Sea is a significant business for BP and we are currently investing here at the highest level for more than ten years, with four major new field development projects underway in the UK and two in Norway. The assets we intend to divest are of high value but find it difficult to compete for capital and resource within our North Sea portfolio. We believe they will attract earlier investment and be of greater value to a new buyer.
"Ensuring continued safe operation of these assets will continue to be our priority as we seek potential purchasers and support our staff through the transition process which will follow."
BP aims to complete the divestments around the end of 2011, subject to receipt of suitable offers and regulatory and third party approvals.