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BP is Contemplating the Sale of Shearwater Assets Stake

Zacks

Per sources, BP plc BP is contemplating the divestiture of its stake in the Shearwater assets in the North Sea. Per reports, the company has made contacts with potential buyers.

BP plans to focus on new projects in the area and enhance holding in U.S. shale. The company is not willing to invest money in the project at the same rate as operator Royal Dutch Shell Plc RDS.A. In December 2018, Royal Dutch Shell approved an investment in the Shearwater platforms that will enable it to collect more natural gas from nearby North Sea fields.

Located off Scotland’s east coast, Shearwater comprises two platforms and a field, which produces gas and condensates. Commissioned in 2000, the field is one of the biggest producing blocks in the North Sea. The platform has become a vital infrastructure hub that gathers gas from other nearby fields and transfers it to a processing center on land.

Royal Dutch Shell, the operator of the field, has a stake of 28%. Other partners are BP and Exxon Mobil Corporation XOM holding 28% and 44.5%, respectively.

BP plans to sell mature assets worth about $6 billion to clear debt. The amount of debt has been primarily utilized for making purchases. Recently, BP completed the acquisition of $10.5 billion of U.S. shale assets from BHP Group Ltd.

Despite the sale, BP will still remain a large producer in the North Sea. The company aims to double its output in the region to 200,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day by 2020. In November, the company commenced oil production from the giant Clair Ridge development, which was discovered four decades ago.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Currently, BP carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Another better-ranked player in the energy space is SunCoke Energy, Inc SXC, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

SunCoke acquires, owns and operates coke making as well as coal mining operations. The company delivered average positive earnings surprise of 302.6% in the last four quarters.

Headquartered in Houston, TX, Shell Midstream Partners owns, operates, develops and acquires pipelines as well as other midstream assets. The company is expected to witness year-over-year earnings growth of 18.7% in 2018.

Unit Corp is a diversified energy company. The company has an average positive surprise of 21.2% in the last four quarters.

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