BP to Sell Gulf of Mexico Assets for $5.55 Billion
BP (ISE: BP.L) (NYS: BP) rallied 5 pence, or 1%, higher to 440 pence during lunchtime trading today after confirming the sale of a number of oil and gas fields in the Gulf of Mexico to Plains Exploration & Production (NYS: PXP)
BP said it is to sell its company-operated Marlin, Dorado, King, Horn Mountain and Holstein fields, as well as dispose of investment stakes in the Ram Powell and Diana Hoover fields.
In return, Plains will pay BP $5.55 billion in cash, with the deal expected to complete by the end of this year. In addition, Plains will pay $560 million to Royal Dutch Shell (ISE: RDSB.L) (NYS: RDS.B) for its interest in the Holstein field.
Bob Dudley, BP group chief executive, said: "While these assets no longer fit our business strategy, the Gulf of Mexico remains a key part of BP's global exploration and production portfolio and we intend to continue investing at least $4 billion there annually over the next decade."
Today's news comes less than month after BP announced the $2.5 billion sale of a Californian refinery and 800 ARCO-branded petrol stations to Tesoro Corporation (NYS: TSO) .
Indeed, results last month showed BP raising $1.9 billion from disposals during the second quarter, and $3.2 billion during the first half. Since the start of 2010, BP has announced disposals of $32 billion and is aiming to raise $38 billion by the end of 2013. BP's latest balance sheet carried assets-held-for-resale of $9 billion.
The disposals follow a period of heavy investment for BP. In particular, the oil group invested $52 billion in the U.S. between 2007 and 2011 -- a sum that BP says exceeded the U.S. expenditure of any other oil and gas company.
Furthermore, all the disposals should help BP's cash flow and its ability to pay dividends, which currently run at 8 cents per share per quarter, or about 20 pence per share per annum.
Right now, BP offers a 4.5% dividend yield and is just one of a number of FTSE large caps that offers an income well ahead of what you can expect to receive from a standard savings account. If you are seeking other high-dividend opportunities, this special free report could assist your investment decisions.
"8 Top Dividend Plays Held by Britain's Super Investor" reveals the favorite income stocks held by Neil Woodford -- the City legend who has thrashed the FTSE 100 during the 15 years to 2011 by favoring dividend-paying blue chips.
Just click to download the free Neil Woodford report today. But hurry, this report will remain available for a limited time only.
Investing is by no means easy in today's uncertain economy. That's why we've published "Top Sectors of 2012" -- our guide to three favorable industries. This free report will be dispatched immediately to your inbox.
Further Motley Fool investment opportunities:
The article BP to Sell Gulf of Mexico Assets for $5.55 Billion originally appeared on Fool.com.Maynard Paton does not own any share mentioned in this article.The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.
Copyright © 1995 - 2012 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.