BP sells UK oil fields for $610 mln to Perenco

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British energy group BP said on Tuesday that it had agreed to sell a series of onshore oil fields in southern England to Anglo-French exploration company Perenco for up to $610 million (430 million euros).

It forms part of BP's strategy to unlock $30 billion by the end of 2011 to meet clean-up and compensation costs linked to last year's devastating Gulf of Mexico oil spill caused by a blast on the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon platform.

"BP announced today that it has agreed to sell its interests in the Wytch Farm, Wareham, Beacon and Kimmeridge fields to Perenco UK Ltd for up to $610 million in cash," BP said in a statement.

Including Tuesday's sale, BP has earned more than $25 billion from asset sales since July last year.

"Today's agreement brings us even closer to the target of $30 billion of divestments by year end that we set out last summer," said BP chief executive Bob Dudley.

"It demonstrates that we do have assets of quality that other operators see as more strategically valuable to them than to BP, thus unlocking value for our shareholders," he added in the statement.

The Gulf of Mexico explosion on April 20, 2010, killed 11 workers and sent some 4.9 million barrels of oil gushing into the Gulf over a three-month period, wreaking havoc on the region's environment and economy.

© 2011 AFP

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