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BP has wrapped up a deal with Ineos to sell its Forties Pipeline System, which it opened in 1975 as one of the most strategically important parts of the North Sea oil infrastructure.

The Forties pipeline system is made up of about 100 miles of pipeline and transports around 450,000 barrels of oil a day — the equivalent of 40 per cent of UK production from the North Sea. It employs around 300 people.

Under the deal, which is still subject to some approvals, UK petrochemicals group Ineos will pay up to $250m for the asset, spread over several years.

BP CEO Bob Dudley noted that the pipeline “had great significance in BP’s history,” but “our business here is now centred around our major offshore interests west of Shetland and in the central North Sea.”

The deal has echoes of the deal that BP struck with EnQuest to offload a stake in a mature North Sea oilfield.

Mark Thomas, BP North Sea regional president said:

As with our recent agreement with EnQuest, we believe this is a good example of having the ‘right assets’ in the ‘right hands’, offering new opportunities for the assets… in the spirit of the government’s aim of maximising economic recovery of the UK’s oil and gas resources.

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