BP Spins Off Norway Business Into Billionaire’s Oil Explorer

BP Plc sold its Norwegian oil fields, some more than 40 years old, to a company controlled by billionaire Kjell Inge Roekke in a 10.8 billion kroner ($1.3 billion) stock deal.

The new business, called Aker BP ASA, will be the seventh-largest producer in Norway, with daily oil and natural gas output of about 122,000 barrels of oil equivalent, according to statements from the companies Friday. Aker ASA, the Norwegian billionaire’s holding company, will have 40 percent of the venture and BP will retain 30 percent.

The deal, which came after BP considered selling the whole of its Norwegian business, shows how the world’s largest oil companies are using new structures to adapt to lower oil prices. Major producers are seeking to sharpen their portfolios, cut spending and reduce debt by offloading decades-old fields, but the biggest industry downturn in a generation means there are fewer buyers.

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