December 7, 2010 / 1:52 AM / 7 years ago

BP plans to sell $1 billion of North Sea assets: report

<p>A BP logo is seen on a petrol station in London November 2, 2010. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett</p>

LONDON (Reuters) - Oil company BP (BP.L) has approached several UK-focused energy companies about a potential sell-off of about $1 billion of its North Sea assets, The Daily Telegraph said on Tuesday.

The British newspaper cited companies and bankers as saying the embattled oil and gas firm had approached them on a pre-tender basis regarding a portfolio of non-core fields before any official auction.

“We’ve been having a look at some gas assets, but it’s very early on,” the Telegraph cited one energy company executive as saying. “It’s about seeing whether they’d be a good fit.”

The Telegraph also said, without citing sources, that oil giant ExxonMobil was also looking to sell $2 billion worth of North Sea assets, as the low-margin fields become less attractive to large companies with high dividend policies.

No one at BP was immediately available for comment.

BP said earlier this year it would sell $30 billion of assets as part of a strategy to raise cash to pay for the costs of an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last April.

Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by Richard Chang

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