British oil giant BP said Monday it would sell $5.6 billion of its Gulf of Mexico assets to Plains Exploration and Production Co. of Houston, Texas.
BP, although accepting charges of $38 billion for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, could still be liable for billions of dollars more in compensation and fines connected to the spill that began with an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil platform that killed 11 people in 2010.
The New York Times reported Monday that BP is concentrating on "high-risk, high return frontier exploration and production, including deepwater fields."
The company has already said it would sell its stake in TNK-BP, a joint venture in Russia that is not considered a high-growth investment.
The sale announced Monday represents about a quarter of BP's 240,000-barrel-per-day production in the Gulf of Mexico -- a figure that was at 400,000 barrels before the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
"While these assets no longer fit our business strategy, the Gulf of Mexico remains a key part of BP's global exploration and production portfolio, and we intend to continue investing at least $4 billion there annually over the next decade," BP Chief Executive Officer Robert Dudley said in a statement.
Plains Exploration and Production has a market capitalization of about $5.2 billion and operates in Texas, California and the Gulf of Mexico, the Times reported.
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