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22 February 2011, 13:10
Oil giant BP has revealed plans to sell several assets in the UK, including the biggest onshore oil field in Western Europe based in Dorset.
The company said it intends to sell its Wytch Farm terminal, which is set in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the Dorset countryside, and all operated gas fields in the southern North Sea for an undisclosed sum.
But the British group said this did not signal a move away from the UK and pledged high levels of investment for its remaining assets in the North Sea. BP said it expects staff to transfer employment to a new buyer when the sales are completed.
The Wytch Farm oil field, which was bought by BP in 1984, produces 25,000 barrels of oil per day and employs more than 200 staff, recently re-opened after an oil leak forced it to shut down for around two months.
BP says it expects staff to be kept on by the new owners.