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BP sells more deep-water assets in Gulf of Mexico

10 September 2012

BP has sold a further tranche of assets to cover the cost of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Texas-based Plains Exploration has bought the Gulf oil and gas assets - which do not include the site of the 2010 disaster - for $5.55bn (£3.46bn). The sale is part of a substantial offloading of assets by BP: since 2010, it has agreed sales totalling more than $32bn (£20bn).

BP's Marlin hub is one of five Gulf production assets sold to Plains
BP's Marlin hub is one of five Gulf production assets sold to Plains

"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," Bob Dudley, BP's chief executive, said.

He added that the company intends to invest at least $4bn (£2.49bn) in the region annually over the next decade.

The sale comes as BP continues to pay damages from the drilling rig explosion at its Macondo well that killed 11 workers and caused the worst oil spill in the industry's history.

Earlier this year the company agreed to settle claims from fishermen and others affected by the disaster for $7.8bn (£4.87bn), but this must be approved by a federal judge and does not affect claims brought by the US government.

The sites bought by Plains Exploration currently produce around 59,500 barrels of oil per day and include three operated assets - the Marlin hub, Horn Mountain and Holstein - and BP's share in two non-operated assets, Ram Powell and Diana Hoover.

The company also bought the 50% interest in the Holstein field that BP does not own from Shell Offshore for $560m (£349).

BP still has six drilling rigs operating in the Gulf of Mexico and expects to have eight rigs in place by the end of the year - the most it has ever had in the region.

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