LONDON, March 28 (UPI) -- British energy company BP announced it agreed to offload natural gas assets in the North Sea to French company Perenco for $400 million in cash.
"We are pleased to have reached this agreement," Trevor Garlick, regional president for BP North Sea, said in a statement. "Perenco is committed to investing in and developing southern gas assets beyond BP's plans, ultimately providing a longer-term future for the assets and the people who work there."
Perenco, said BP, has made an initial payment of $100 million in cash and expects to settle the remaining balance by the end of the year.
BP in the wake of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 sold assets to help finance settlements. The British company said its divestment of its southern gas assets is part of a strategy to develop "a more focused" business in the United Kingdom and Norway.
Eric Faillenet, general manager for Perenco in London, said his company was very pleased with the acquisition.
"It marks a natural extension of our U.K. North Sea portfolio and plays to Perenco's core strength of maximizing the value of mature fields," he said in a statement.
Production levels from southern gas assets are around 25,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.