BP to sell minority stakes in two North Sea fields to Japan's Mitsui

BP Plc, Europe's second-largest oil company, yesterday agreed to sell its minority stakes in two North Sea fields to Japanese trading company Mitsui for $280 million (£179 million) in cash, in order to focus on larger fields in the region.

The move comes just a day after it agreed to sell its liquids-rich assets in Wyoming in the US to Lynn Energy for $1.03 billion. (See: BP to sell US liquids-rich assets to Linn Energy for $1.03 billion)

London-based BP is selling Mitsui its 13.3-per cent stake in the Alba field and an 8.97-per cent stake in the Britannia operation. The net production from the two fields averaged some 7,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

BP said that its current production across its North Sea assets is around 200,000 barrels per day and it has more than three billion barrels of proven and ''contingent resource'' available.

The company is planning to invest around $10 billion (£6.7billion) over the next five years in the North Sea.

BP, which earlier this year sold gas fields worth $400 million in the North Sea, is selling smaller assets in the region to focus on six major projects in the UK and Norwegian sections of the North Sea.