BP to shed UK upstream assets

Close on the heels of a deal with India's Reliance Industries Ltd on Monday, British oil and gas giant BP Plc said yesterday that the company intends to sell its interests in a number of upstream oil and gas fields in the UK.

The assets earmarked for divestment include the Wytch Farm onshore oilfield in Dorset and all of BP's operated gas fields in the southern North Sea, including associated pipeline infrastructure and the Dimlington terminal, BP said in a statement.

Financial details of the proposed sale have not been disclosed. According to recent press reports, the southern North Sea resources itself is valued at around $1 billion.

Through the asset sale, the oil giant plans to focus on its diverse central North Sea, northern North Sea, West of Shetland and Norway assets and on successful delivery of its new major projects.

BP North Sea regional president Trevor Garlick 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.''

BP, a major North Sea player, has invested around $2.4 billion in the region last year with plans to spend over $19 billion in the next five years.