BP sells stake in Omani project amid 25bn dollar divestment plan

BP is selling a multibillion dollar stake in an Omani gas field to Thailand’s national oil company amid major divestment plans.

The UK-listed oil giant said that it would be paid nearly 2.6 billion dollars (£1.9 billion) by PTT Exploration for 20% of the Block 61 site.

However, BP will still keep a 40% stake in the block, and boss Bernard Looney was keen to emphasise the company’s ties to Oman were not about to be cut.

“We are committed to BP’s business in Oman – this agreement allows us to remain at the heart of this world-class development while also making important progress in our global divestment programme,” Mr Looney said.

The Irishman’s plans for the oil giant include an enormous divestment plan, in part to raise money which can be used to help make the business greener.

Last year the company sold its petrochemicals business to Ineos for five billion dollars (£3.6 billion) as part of its 25 billion dollars of target divestments by the middle of the decade.

Mr Looney added: “We are pleased to welcome PTTEP to the successful Block 61 partnership. Block 61 is a pioneering development that has applied leading techniques and technologies to maximise efficiency and minimise emissions.”

The Block 61 site first came online in 2017, with a second phase opening in October last year. The two phases have a combined production capacity of 1.5 billion cubic feet of gas every day.

The gas is largely sold into the domestic Omani gas grid.

Yousuf Al Ojaili, the vice president of BP in Oman, reiterated the company’s plans to stay in the Middle Eastern country.

“We remain very much committed to our strategic partnership with Oman,” he said.

“We will continue to support critical national energy infrastructure for the sultanate through Block 61, invest significantly in local companies and Omani talent, and deliver an ambitious social investment programme.”