A spokesman for BHP Billiton confirmed today that the company is looking for a buyer for its Irish Sea operations. The move threatens the elimination of some 300 jobs.
"I can confirm BHP Billiton is currently conducting a strategic review of its UK petroleum operations and exploring options that include a potential sale of the assets. However, this process is at a very early stage," the spokesman said.
BHP operates the Point of Ayr gas terminal in Talacre and administrative headquarters in Northop Country Park, along with four other gas and oil fields in Liverpool Bay.
Asked whether the company seeks to exit the UK due to the emptying gas supply in the Irish Sea, the spokesman only said that BHP is committed "to simplifying its portfolio and regularly reviews its operations to ensure they continue to fit with its strategy of owning large, long-life, low cost assets."
Delyn MP David Hanson said that BHP told him that "they are putting this business up for sale and that includes both Northop and Talacre." The company noted that the sale may not ultimately occur, however.
"This site remains a valuable asset and I want to see it maintained until its natural gas supply has ended. The company has done a lot for the local community and I will be working with them to try and find a buyer," Hanson said.
BHP's investment in its Irish Sea business totals over GBP 1 billion (USD 1.62 billion).