BP (BP) is apparently considering the $1 billion sale of some of its assets in the North Sea as it tries to cover cleanup costs from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, Bloomberg reported Tuesday, citing an unnamed source.
The company's Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico exploded in April, leading to the most massive oil spill in U.S. history. BP, the largest European oil producer by volume, has set aside $40 billion for cleanup and compensation, and is now raising capital to shore up its finances. BP aims to divest as much as $30 billion in assets by the end of next year. Already this year, it has sold assets in North America, South America, Asia and Africa for a total of about $21 billion.
But a sale in the North Sea region would hit the company closer to home. The British company has operated in the region, which includes the U.K. Continental Shelf and the Norwegian sector, for more than 40 years. It has 50 joint ventures with 40 companies and runs more than 30 fields there. It also operates 10 pipeline systems as well as several terminals. About 60% of U.K. oil production flows through BP infrastructure, the company says.
A spokesperson for the British company would not comment to Bloomberg about the sales, but told the wire service that "The North Sea remains important to BP globally," and that the company intends "to be a part of that region for a long time."
The Daily Telegraph first reported BP's possible sale of North Sea assets earlier Tuesday.
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