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BP seeks to sell shut-down North Sea oilfield, riding wave of demand -sources

Randy Mancini 2 Mar 23
FILE PHOTO: The BP logo is seen at a BP gas station in Manhattan, New York City
FILE PHOTO: The BP logo is seen at a BP gas station in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., November 24, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

March 23, 2022

By Ron Bousso

LONDON (Reuters) – BP is seeking buyers for its shut-down Foinaven oilfield in the North Sea, hoping Britain’s renewed focus on domestic production will attract buyers interested in extracting the field’s remaining reserves, industry sources said.

BP halted production at the Foinaven field west of the Shetland islands last year after 25 years of activity and is preparing to dismantle its floating production vessel.

The field nevertheless still holds reserves of around 200 million barrels of oil which could be tapped in a relatively short time and with minimal investment, the three sources said.

The sale is part of a gradual retreat of BP and other big producers from the ageing basin in recent years, selling assets to smaller companies that specialize in extending late-life fields.

It is unclear how much money BP could get from the Foinaven field, if any, given the clean-up, or decommissioning, costs that would have to be negotiated, the sources said.

But following the recent sharp rally in oil and gas prices and Europe’s efforts to reduce its reliance on Russian energy in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, BP hopes the field could attract buyers, the sources said.[O/R]

A BP spokesperson declined to comment. The London-based company holds 100% interest in the field after acquiring a 28% stake from Viaro Energy last year.

(Reporting by Ron Bousso;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)