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Oil Major BP is reportedly considering the sale of a minority stake in the Forties pipeline in the North Sea. The company said that it opened negotiations with potential buyers but failed to reveal details on the sale.
The pipeline system is capable of carrying and processing some 1 million barrels of oil per day from 50 North Sea oil fields.
Earlier this month, BP officials said they had been refreshing its North Sea portfolio by bringing new fields into production, redeveloping and renewing existing producing facilities and divesting some of its more mature or less strategic assets. For this year, BP intends to divest assets worth $3 billion to $5 billion to lower its debt.
On Monday, BP announced that it had doubled its interest the Culzean development at the same time that exploration head Richard Herbert readies to step down in June as BP tries to streamline the upstream executive team under a single leader, James Dupree.
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BP raised its position in the Maersk Oil-operated Culzean development from 16 percent to 32 percent as part of BP’s five-year/US$10 billion investment program.
The gas field, which lies about 145 miles east of Aberdeen, is expected to come online in 2019 and be large enough to supply 5 percent of UK demand by the time it reaches peak production sometime in 2020 or 2021.
2016 is proving to be another difficult year for North Sea Oil, where some other oil majors such as Total and Shell are trying to sell their assets.
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It is estimated that oil and gas companies located in the UK’s North Sea region could let go of a further 45,000 employees in 2016, adding it to the 65,000 jobs that have already been lost since 2014.
Crude oil output in the UK has fallen 25 percent in the past 5 years and more than 60 percent since 2000, with North Sea producers seeing some of the biggest declines, losing nearly 70 percent of output in the last 15 years and 40 percent in the last five.
By Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com