BP plc (BP - Free Report) recently acquired interests in two North Sea exploration prospects – Jock Scott and Craster.
BP has acquired a 25% interest in the Statoil ASA (STO - Free Report) operated licenses – P2275 and P2097. This apart, it has purchased a 40% interest in the adjacent licenses – P2163 and P2147. Located to the east of the Shetland licenses – P2275 and P2097 – , includes the Jock Scott prospect. Statoil will continue as the operator for all of these licenses. In mid-2017, an exploration well is likely to be drilled by Statoil and BP.
In the west of Shetland, BP has acquired a 40% interest in the north and a 30% interest in the south of the Nexen-operated licence P2062. This includes the Craster prospect. Nexen will remain the operator of the licence. BP and Nexen are also expected to drill an exploration well on Craster in mid-2017.
This acquisition of interests by BP in the basin emphasizes the company’s commitment toward boosting productivity of the region. The North Sea is an important region in BP’s portfolio and the company expects to continue operations in the area over the long term.
Over the next one and half years, BP intends to participate in about five exploration wells. In addition, it intends to drill about 50 development wells over the next three to four years.
BP expects to add production capacity by 800 Mboe/d by 2020. The key projects expected to drive growth are the Schiehallion redevelopment at Quad 204 in the U.K. North Sea, Clair Ridge that is also in the U.K. North Sea, and the Juniper natural gas project in Trinidad. Moreover, BP is taking steps to improve the competitiveness of its Lower 48 portfolio. The company also anticipates improvement in fourth-quarter production. It expects output during the October–December quarter of 2016 to be marginally higher than third-quarter 2016.
In terms of assets, BP owns a strong and diversified portfolio of global energy businesses that offer attractive long-term growth opportunities. The group’s strong inventory of development projects should boost volumes in the long run.
BP currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked players in the same sector include SunCoke Energy Inc. (SXC - Free Report) and Futurefuel Corp. . Both these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
SunCoke Energy posted a positive earnings surprise of 177.78% in the last reported quarter. It reported a positive earnings surprise in three of the four preceding quarters.
Futurefuel Corp. posted a positive earnings surprise of 20.83% in the last reported quarter. It reported a positive earnings surprise in all of the four preceding quarters.
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