Oil major BP is considering selling its closed Foinaven oilfield in the UK North Sea to potential buyers, reported Reuters.

The firm hopes to attract buyers for the offshore field due to the surge in oil and gas prices, and efforts by European nations to reduce their dependence on Russian energy in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine.

Following 25 years of activity, BP stopped production at the Foinaven field in 2021 as the floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) Petrojarl Foinaven vessel neared the end of its 25-year design life.

The energy giant initially planned to extend the FPSO’s life to 2025, but later decided against extension, owing to the age and the ‘demands of operating west of Shetland’.

It is being anticipated that the field still holds reserves of approximately 200 million barrels of oil.

This can be tapped with minimal investment and in a relatively short time, reported the news agency, citing three sources.

The sale forms part of BP’s efforts to retreat from the ageing basin by offloading assets to smaller companies.

BP owns a 100% interest in the field, which is located 190km west of Shetland, in water depths of up to 500m.

Discovered in 1992, the field extends into UKCS licence blocks 204/19a, 204/24a, and 204/25b.

The field comprises three subsea drill centres, two water injection well sites, a gas disposal centre, control umbilical distribution assemblies (UDA), and the FPSO vessel Petrojarl Foinaven.