BP sells north sea energy assets to Abu Dhabis TAQA

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British energy giant BP announced on Wednesday the sale of North Sea assets to Abu Dhabi-owned TAQA for more than $1.0 billion to help pay for the 2010 US Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster.

“BP announced today that it has agreed to sell its interests in a number of central North Sea oil and gas fields to TAQA for $1.058 billion (819 million euros) plus future payments which, dependent on oil price and production, BP currently expects will exceed $250 million,” the British energy giant said in a statement.

“The assets included in the sale are BP’s interests in the BP-operated Maclure, Harding and Devenick fields and non-operated interests in the Brae complex of fields and the Braemar field.”

The latest disposal is part of BP’s previously announced plans to sell $38 billion of assets by the end of 2013 to help pay the clean-up bill and compensation costs for the US Gulf disaster.

The London-listed energy major has now agreed to sell assets worth about $37 billion since the start of 2010.

“This transaction is in line with BP’s strategy to focus on a smaller number of higher-value assets with long-term growth potential and to continue the simplification of our portfolio with a further reduction of operated infrastructure and wells,” BP chief executive Bob Dudley said in the statement.

The deal, which remains subject to third party and regulatory approvals, is expected to complete in the second quarter of next year.

Wednesday’s news comes almost two weeks after BP agreed to pay more than $4.5 billion in US fines related to the devastating 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, including a record $4.0 billion to settle criminal claims.

BP had also pleaded guilty to 14 counts including felony manslaughter in the deaths of 11 workers.

Two of the company’s on-board supervisors also face involuntary manslaughter charges for failing to prevent the April 20, 2010 explosion on the BP-leased Deep-water Horizon rig.

A former BP executive was charged with obstruction of justice for lying about how much oil was gushing out of the runaway Macondo well.

BP also recently unveiled a massive strategic deal with Russian state oil firm Rosneft in an attempt to reposition itself after the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe and tap into major exploration projects in the Arctic.