BP to sell off stakes in Magnus oil field and Sullom Voe terminal in Shetland

Energy giant BP plans to sell off stakes in the Magnus oil field and Sullom Voe terminal in Shetland in a deal worth £68-million deal.

The sale to the UK firm EnQuest had been hailed by industry body Oil and Gas UK as a sign of confidence in North Sea oil's maturing fields.

EnQuest will fund the deal by sharing future cash flows from the assets and under the agreement BP would not receive any payment upfront.

The approval of the deal would see EnQuest take over operation of both the Magnus oilfield and Sullom Voe. The new operators would take on board about 100 BP staff on Magnus and 240 at Sullom Voe.

BP group chief executive Bob Dudley said, ''EnQuest's experience of investing in and extending the life of mature assets in the North Sea makes them natural operators of Magnus and Sullom Voe.

The Magnus oil field in Shetland was one of the two stakes to be sold off.

''We believe this will enable them to prolong the life of the assets, benefiting the region and creating additional value for both EnQuest and BP shareholders.''

Mark Thomas, BP North Sea regional president, added, ''Sullom Voe and Magnus have been great businesses for BP but to maximise the economic life of these important assets, we believe this deal will offer them a better long-term future. We have seen what EnQuest can do on the Thistle, Deveron and Don fields previously operated by BP.''

The agreement with EnQuest also included a 25 per cent share in the BP-owned Magnus field and a number of pipelines.

EnQuest would take on 3 per cent of BP's current 12-per cent stake in Sullom Voe and take over the operation of the terminal, where oil was brought ashore from the North Sea.