BP sells Tullow some of Thames-Hewett assets

BP PLC has sold the first tranche of a 13-license UK southern North Sea field and pipeline asset package to British independent Tullow Oil PLC to resolve European Commission concerns over BP�s takeover of Atlantic Richfield Co. last April. The Thames Hewett package covers ARCO�s share in Thames, Hewett, and Welland fields and associated pipeline and terminal interests.


By the OGJ Online Staff

LONDON, Apr. 4�BP PLC has completed sale of the first tranche of a 13-license UK southern North Sea field and pipeline asset package to British independent Tullow Oil PLC to resolve European Commission concerns over BP�s takeover of Atlantic Richfield Co. last April.

The Thames Hewett package covers ARCO�s share in Thames, Hewett, and Welland fields and their associated pipeline and terminal interests. The deal with Tullow follows the completion in February of the sale of ARCO's stake in the Murdoch and Boulton gas developments, and its interest in the Caister-Murdoch system. These sale agreements were first announced last July.

Outside of these transactions, BP is also in the process of selling Orwell and Gawain fields�satellites to Thames�and "some additional exploration licenses" to Tullow. The UK energy company said it expects to complete the Gawain sale in the coming weeks and that of Orwell in the next few months.

Tullow will pay BP �201 million ($287 million) for the package of assets, backdated to Jan. 1 of last year.

BP noted that ARCO would continue to operate Thames, Welland, Gawain, and Orwell on behalf of the co-venturers "in the short term," while ExxonMobil Corp. is expected to operate Thames, Welland, and Gawain. Operatorship of Orwell has yet to be decided.

"The completion of the first part of the Thames Hewett package is a major milestone in Tullow's plan to be a long term participant in the southern North Sea gas basin," said Tullow Managing Director Aidan Heavey.

Net gas production from the total package of fields being transferred to Tullow amounts to about 150 MMscf/d.

London's Schroder Salomon Smith Barney is advising BP on the sale.

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