Focused BHP Looks at Selling UK Oil and Gas

From The Australian

By Robb M. Stewart

The Anglo-Australian company had launched a strategic review of the business and was exploring options, including the possible sale of the assets, a spokeswoman said yesterday.

However, she said the process was at a very early stage and no decision to sell had been made.

BHP operates Liverpool Bay, which has five producing offshore gas and oil fields in the Irish Sea, the Point of Ayr onshore processing plant in north Wales, and associated infrastructure.

It owns a 46.1 per cent stake in the operation, while ENI owns the rest.

The company also holds a 16 per cent non-operating interest in the Bruce oil and gas field in the North Sea and operates the Keith field in which it has a 31.83 per cent stake.

Earlier this month, BHP agreed to sell a minority interest in the planned Browse gas-export project off Western Australia to PetroChina for $US1.63 billion ($1.55bn) in cash.

In recent months it has also signed a deal to sell its diamonds business in northern Canada to Harry Winston Diamond Corp for $US500 million, completed the sale of a 37 per cent stake in a South African minerals sands business to partner Rio Tinto for $US1.7bn and said it would sell an undeveloped uranium deposit in Australia to Cameco for $US430m.

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