BP agrees to sell stakes in three North Sea oil fields

BP (LSE:BP) has revealed it has reached an agreement with Serica Energy for the sale of a US$398 million package of assets in the North Sea.

The deal will lift UK-based independent firm Serica into the top three European-listed oil producers, once it assumes ownership of BP’s stakes in the Bruce, Keith and Rhumm fields.

Serica will pay just $17 million upfront for a 36% interest in Bruce, 34.83% in Keith and 50% in Rhumm, with the majority of the fee to be paid to BP over the next four years. The oil major will retain a 1% stake in Bruce.

“We remain committed to the North Sea and continue to invest,” said Bernard Looney, BP’s upstream chief executive. “We expect our production there to double to around 200,000 barrels equivalent a day by 2020 through new projects like Quad 204 and Clair Ridge.”

Quad 204 is a major redevelopment of the Schiehallion and Loyal fields West of the Shetland Islands, and the company is also is on track to produce first oil from the second phase of the Clair field in 2018.

Meanwhile, the deal is set to boost Serica’s net production seven-fold to over 21,000 barrels equivalent per day, of which over 85% is gas.