BP fields final offers for North Sea oil and gas assets

By Dinesh Nair, Laura Hurst and Elena Mazneva on 3/17/2021
BP crewman in the UK sector of the North Sea
BP crewman in the UK sector of the North Sea

(Bloomberg) --BP Plc is fielding final bids from a handful of junior energy companies for its North Sea assets, according to people familiar with the matter.

Oil and gas producers Tailwind Energy Ltd., Serica Energy Plc, Ithaca Energy Ltd., EnQuest Plc and newcomer Waldorf Production UK Ltd. have been considering binding offers for some or all of the assets, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information.

BP is looking to offload its Shearwater and Andrew fields and could end up selling its interests to different bidders depending on the interest it receives, the people said. Representatives for BP, EnQuest, Ithaca, Serica and Waldorf declined to comment, while a spokesperson for Tailwind didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The interest comes amid an uptick in mergers and acquisitions in the North Sea region, where consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. says activity this year has already surpassed 2020 levels.

The BP fields were due to be purchased by Premier Oil Plc last year under revised terms after oil prices crashed and its largest creditor initially blocked the deal. The transaction, which was valued at $625 million, was later dropped following a reverse-takeover of Premier by Chrysaor Holdings Ltd.

BP is undergoing a global restructuring after it promised to slash its greenhouse gas emissions and increase investments in low-carbon energy. The firm aims to sell $25 billion of assets by 2025 to help ease its debt burden and fund the energy transition.

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