BP is selling its stake in a U.K. gas pipeline and associated infrastructure. The company announced on Thursday that it has agreed to sell its 36.22 percent interest in the Central Area Transmission System (CATS) business in the U.K. North Sea to Antin Infrastructure Partners for £324 million ($486 million).
The deal adds to infrastructure manager Antin's existing majority stake of 62.78 percent, giving the company near full ownership. The other owners are ConocoPhillips (0.66 percent) and ENI (0.34 percent).
CATS includes a riser platform; a 36-inch diameter, 404-kilometer long pipeline from the riser platform to the gas terminal; and a gas terminal at Seal Sands, Teesside, which has a processing capacity of 1,200 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (mmscfd).
The CATS pipeline transports about 8 percent of the U.K.'s gas demand.
BP is the current operator of CATS, but Antin is planning to appoint a contract operator and BP staff are expected to transfer to the new employer. In total, around 60 BP employees will transfer as part of the deal.
The sale is part of BP's 2014-2015 divestment program. The company said in February that since 2013 it had agreed divestments with a cumulative value of $4.7 billion and expects this total to reach $10 billion by the end of 2015.
The transaction remains subject to regulatory clearance and other third-party approvals, but is expected to be completed before the end of 2015.