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BASF Sells $375 Million of Stakes in North Sea Oil & Gas Assets

Dec. 13 (Bloomberg) -- BASF SE, the world’s largest chemical maker, has agreed to sell $375 million in oil and gas assets in the North Sea to focus on its own exploration and production efforts.

MOL Hungarian Oil & Gas will acquire 14 licenses on the U.K. continental shelf from BASF’s oil-and-gas unit Wintershall, the Ludwigshafen, Germany-based company said today in a statement. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014 and will be financially retroactive to Jan. 1, 2013.

The sale follows asset swaps with Russia’s OAO Gazprom and Norway’s Statoil ASA last year, where BASF gained stakes in Siberian and North Sea fields that it will operate. Today’s deal with MOL includes an agreement to jointly pursue exploration and production opportunities in the Middle East region, BASF said.

“With the divestment of non-operated assets, we can concentrate on strengthening our competencies in exploration, field development and production activities on own-operated assets in the North Sea,” Wintershall Chief Executive Officer Rainer Seele said in today’s statement.

The purchase price is subject to value adjustments at closing, BASF said.

MOL Group, based in Budapest, will acquire 29 percent in Broom field, 20 percent in Catcher, 33.5 percent in Cladhan and 50 percent in the Scolty/Crathes developments. Wintershall’s equity share in existing infrastructure on the Sullom Voe Terminal and the Brent Pipeline System are also part of the deal.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sheenagh Matthews in Frankfurt at smatthews6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Thiel at sthiel1@bloomberg.net

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