Mitsui to buy BP's stake in UK North Sea Alba, Britannia fields

Mitsui & Co. Ltd. plans to buy BP PLC’s interests in the Alba and Britannia fields in the UK North Sea for $280 million, subject to regulatory and other licensee approvals.

BP holds 13.3% interest in Alba and 8.97% interest in Britannia. Closing is expected by the end of the third quarter. Net BP production from the two fields averages 7,000 boe/d compared with BP’s total 200,000 boe/d of North Sea production.

Trevor Garlick, BP North Sea regional president, said the divestments are part of BP’s strategy to develop a more focused business in the UK and Norway. BP expects to invest $10 billion over 5 years in the North Sea, including major projects in the UK and in Norway.

The transaction announcement comes 1 day after Linn Energy announced plans to buy some of BP’s interests in Wyoming gas assets for $1 billion. Since January 2010, BP has divested $24 billion. BP expects the total will reach $38 billion by yearend 2013.

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