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BP Buys Out Shell’s Interest In US Gulf Oil Fields


HOUSTON -(Dow Jones)- BP PLC (BP, BP.LN) has agreed to buy out Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s (RDSA, RDSB, RDSA.LN, RDSB.LN) interest in a pair of U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil and gas fields.

The U.K.-based oil giant exercised its preferential rights to buy Shell’s 25% stake in the deepwater Marlin and Dorado reservoirs, after Shell unveiled an agreement to sell the assets to Houston-based W&T Offshore Inc. (WTI). BP currently owns the other 75% of the reservoirs.

BP spokesman Daren Beaudo said Tuesday his company sent Shell a letter Monday announcing its decision to exercise the rights to buy out its minority partner. Beaudo declined to disclose the purchase price.

W&T Offshore said late Tuesday that it had agreed to buy Shell’s stake in Marlin and Dorado in early November as part of a larger deal to acquire interests in six Gulf of Mexico properties from Shell.

The original deal called for W&T to pay Shell $450 million. Now that the Marlin and Dorado fields aren’t part of the deal, W&T said in a release it will pay Shell $193 million in cash and assume $32 million in debt related to the remaining four properties.

BP first tapped the Marlin reservoir, which sits in 3,240 feet of water, in 1999.

The Marlin reservoir, along with connected fields Dorado and King, which BP already owned exclusively, have had an average daily output of 60,000 barrels of oil and 250 million cubic feet of natural gas. Currently, the properties are producing about 43,000 barrels of oil a day and 60 million cubic feet of natural gas a day, Beaudo said.

-By Ryan Dezember, Dow Jones Newswires; 713-547-9208; ryan.dezember@

(END) Dow Jones Newswires
Copyright (c) 2010 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


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