Australia-based BHP has agreed to divest its 35% ownership stake and operatorship in the Neptune field in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico to EnVen Energy Ventures.

The deal increases EnVen’s stake in the field to 65% from 30%.

Other partners of the Neptune field are W&T Energy VI and 31 Offshore. W&T will continue to have a 20% interest in the field while 31 Offshore will retain its 15% holding.

The Neptune Field includes Atwater blocks 573, 574, 575, 617, and 618, in water depths ranging from 4,200ft to 6,500ft.

The Australian firm said that it would continue to serve as the operator of the field until the regulatory clearance for the operatorship and ownership transition.

BHP petroleum operations president Geraldine Slattery said: “As a reputable operator with deepwater experience in the Gulf of Mexico, EnVen is ideally-placed to take operatorship of Neptune and we’re committed to a safe and smooth transition of operations.

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“This divestment enables BHP to further reshape our portfolio in line with our long-term strategy. The Gulf of Mexico remains a heartland for BHP and we continue to look for opportunities to grow and further develop our business in the region.”

The Neptune field has been developed by a standalone tension leg platform (TLP) located in approximately 4,250ft of water.

Last year, BHP acquired a 28% stake in the Shenzi field in the Gulf of Mexico from Hess in a deal worth $505m.

The field is now structured as a joint ownership between BHP (72%) and Repsol (28%).

BHP also owns stakes in two other fields, Atlantis and Mad Dog, both located in the Gulf of Mexico.