BP To Sell Forties Field To Apache
More UK job fears as BP announce that it has agreed in principle to sell its 96.14 per cent stake in the North Sea Forties oilfield, together with a package of shallow-water assets in the Gulf of Mexico, to the US independent oil and gas company, Apache, for $1.3 billion.
The disposals are an outcome of BP's ongoing comprehensive review of its worldwide asset portfolio, announced by chief executive Lord Browne last October. Further transactions are expected during 2003. BP said that sale would improve returns on its upstream portfolio by reducing operating costs and freeing up capital for investment in other projects offering better profit margins.
Approximately two-thirds of the reserves and daily oil production Apache is acquiring from BP are in the North Sea's Forties oil field, establishing a new international operating region for Apache. Apache will become field operator with a 96 percent working interest. Discovered by BP in 1970, the Forties field is the largest ever found in the United Kingdom sector of the North Sea and still ranks eighth in production and reserves after having produced approximately 2.5 billion barrels to date. Apache's acquisition economics estimate average 2003 production of 45,100 barrels of oil per day and net proved reserves of 147.6 million barrels. Apache's production will be transported via the Forties Pipeline System. The Forties pipeline is not included in the sale.