World News

BP to sell Bruce assets in North Sea to Serica

BP to sell Bruce assets in North Sea to Serica

Announcements of BP's intended sale of its North Sea Bruce assets to Serica Energy plc and the move by Ineos to explore for gas in waters to the far north of Shetland have been welcomed by trade body Oil & Gas UK as marking a day of "good news" for the North Sea. BP now operates the oil and gas assets, which comprise the Bruce, Keith and Rhum fields, three bridge-linked platforms and associated subsea infrastructure.

Serica, which announced the deal earlier today, said they will pay BP an initial upfront payment of around £13m, a percentage share of cash flow over the four-year period, and contingency payments based on commodity prices and the performance of the assets.

"We very much look forward to welcoming the extremely capable team that will be transferring to Serica from BP and combining skillsets and operational expertise", said Tony Craven Walker, Serica's executive chairman, in a company release on Tuesday.

Serica said the deal has an effective date of 1 January 2018, and completion of the acquisition was expected to take place in mid-2018.

The company said it expects to receive around 300 million pounds ($398 million), with a majority of it in the next four years.

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BP Upstream CEO Bernard Looney said: "This is an example of BP's Upstream strategy in action - refreshing our portfolio and focusing our activity on assets which will add most value over the long-term".

BP says it remains committed to the North Sea, where it expects production to double to 200K boe/day by 2020 through new projects such as Quad 204 and Clair Ridge. Meanwhile, Serica shares are suspended as the deal is classed as a reverse takeover.

Bruce was discovered in 1974 and started producing in 1993, with Keith tied back to Bruce in 2000.

Under the agreement, Serica will acquire a 36% interest in Bruce, a 34.83% interest in Keith and a 50% interest in Rhum.

BP also said it would retain financial liability for decommissioning the assets, but that the decommissioning activity itself would be planned and carried out by Serica.


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