Since the fourth quarter of 2002, BP has dramatically overhauled its portfolio, selling some $4.6 billion of assets. The buyers have been as diverse as Apache Corp., Amerada Hess, Repsol-YPF and CNOOC. The company is quite serious about evaluating every asset and selling off mature properties in favor of growth elsewhere. This was highlighted by the sale of its Forties Field, a North Sea legend and core asset for many years, to Apache. More sales may be coming, U.K.-based research firm Wood Mackenzie reports. "There are eight countries whose total upstream portfolios lie in the US$100 million to US$1.3-billion range that we would consider noncore...these represent a value of around US$5 billion," say WoodMac analysts Derek Butter and Mark Hume. BP's five key growth areas are the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, Angola, Azerbaijan, Trinidad and Asia-Pacific LNG. The existing profit centers that will provide cash flow to fuel growth in these areas are Asia-Pacific domestic, Middle East, Latin America, Egypt, North Sea, North American gas and Alaska. But the newly minted Russia venture, TNK-BP, is the most important growth area for the company going forward. Russia will be its top liquids producing region by far, surpassing the North Sea, Alaska or any other region. In 1998, North America and the North Sea made up three-fourths of the company's production. BP estimates that by 2007, North America will be less than 25% and Russia will be 20%. In a recent presentation to London and New York analysts, BP chief executive John Browne said BP's new Russian business brings 3.2 billion barrels of proved developed oil reserves and 4.1 billion if adding proved undeveloped reserves. -Leslie Haines
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