British Gas to sell North Sea gas fields

Feb 18, 1997 01:00 AM

Feb. 9, 1997 British Gas will sell its interests in several North Sea gas fields as part of disposals which could net up to 500 million pounds ($ 814.5 mm) in cash. British Gas is in the process of a demerger and the sales would be overseen by BG Plc, the rump of the company made up of its exploration and production division as well as domestic pipeline network TransCo.The Observer quoted BG chief executive David Varney as saying this was "a new chapter" in the firm's strategy. Varney would be reviewing all BG's exploration and production before April and intends hiving off ``non-core'' assets, while declining to say which fields were likely to go.Varney told a straightforward sale was possible, but there might be a swap. It said the group wants to increase the proportion of oil in its portfolio.The Observer said the Brae field, which is 7 % owned by British Gas, would be top of the list, with other possible candidates the Audrey, Beinn, East Leman, Maureen and Moira fields.The paper said Varney accepted thatthe fields in which BG has small stakes could be sold but added that other factors could play a part."It depends on the rate of return and whether we believe they are a springboard for other things," the paper quoted him as saying.

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