(EnergyAsia, December 26 2012, Wednesday) — BP said it has agreed to sell its 34.3% interest in the Yacheng gas field in the South China Sea to Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC) for US$308 million cash.

Expected to close in the second half of 2013 upon clearing regulatory, partner and third party approvals, the proposed sale will take BP’s total divestments announced since 2010 to US$37.8 billion.

Following completion, the Yacheng partnership will consist of CNOOC (51%), and KUFPEC (49%).

BP operated Yacheng, which began producing in 1996, until January 1 2004 when it handed operatorship to its major project partner CNOOC.

The field currently supplies natural gas for power generation to Castle Peak Company Limited in Hong Kong via a 780-kilometre pipeline. Additional natural gas, condensate and LPG are sold to customers on Hainan Island.

Chen Liming, President of BP China, said:

“This sale is part of BP’s ongoing global portfolio optimisation, BP remains committed to working with China to contribute its deep expertise and oil and gas supply options in this important emerging market.

BP was awarded interests in the 42/05 and 43/11 deepwater blocks in the South China Sea in 2010 and 2012. These blocks are currently in the exploration phase.