BP (LON:BP) is looking to shed further assets in the North Sea as it looks to keep costs down, The Telegraph has reported. The news comes ahead of the oil major’s interim results tomorrow when the FTSE 100 company is likely to post a drop in underlying profits.
BP’s share price has gained ground in today’s session, finding support in stronger crude prices. As of 13:00 BST, the shares were changing hands 1.17 percent higher at 448.85p, outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.38 percent higher at 7,396.01 points.
The Telegraph reported over the weekend that BP was understood to be in talks with private equity backed oil minnows which have been circling the oil major’s more lucrative legacy fields in the central and northern North Sea since earlier this year. Aim-listed Serica Energy has been linked to a possible deal with BP since the spring when the company told the newspaper that it was hunting for fresh acquisitions after snapping up the FTSE 100 group’s share of the Erskine field. City sources further told The Telegraph that other funds and explorers were also showing an interest in fields which are no longer core to the oil major’s portfolio but could potentially prove profitable to a smaller player.
The news comes ahead of BP’s second-quarter results tomorrow and the newspaper notes that the oil major is expected to report that its underlying profits had slumped to $500 million, down from the $720-million profit posted for the second quarter of last year when the group’s performance was pressured by a severe oil price crash. The results will come after BP warned last month that it would book a $750-million charge as a result of an exploration write-off in Angola.