BP confirms talks to sell key North Sea oil pipeline
17 Mar 2017 - 21:20
London: BP is in talks with Ineos AG to sell the Forties pipeline, one of the most important pieces of oil infrastructure in the U K North Sea.
The two companies confirmed the discussions, but declined to comment on the potential value of the deal or provide a time frame. The pipeline system transports 450,000 barrels a day, comprising about 40 percent of the UK’s total oil production and the largest constituent of Dated Brent, the international crude benchmark.
BP, Europe’s third-biggest oil company, is selling assets to help pay for the 2010 oil spill in the US Gulf of Mexico, for which it has set aside more than $50bn. It also needs to bring down debt and maintain dividends as oil prices continue to trade near $50 a barrel. It sold its stake in the Central Area Transmission System natural-gas transportation system in the UK North Sea in 2015 for 324 million pounds ($400m).
BP owns all of the Forties pipeline system. It was originally built to transport oil from the Forties field, which was discovered in 1970, to the Grangemouth refinery near Edinburgh in Scotland. In the following decades additional discoveries were connected to the system including Buzzard, currently the nation’s largest field.