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BP agrees sale of Central Area Transmission System (CATS) business to Antin Infrastructure Partners

Release date:
23 April 2015

BP today announced it has agreed to sell its equity in the Central Area Transmission System (CATS) business in the UK North Sea to Antin Infrastructure Partners for £324 million ($486 million). BP is currently the operator of CATS.

The agreement comprises a payment on completion of £302 million ($453 million) and a deferred amount of £22 million ($33 million), subject to certain post-closing adjustments.

Trevor Garlick, Regional President BP North Sea said: “The North Sea is an important region for BP. Our strategy here is to focus our resources and investment to create an efficient, sustainable and competitive business which will contribute to UK energy security for many years to come. Key elements of this are the completion of our major projects in the central North Sea and Shetland area, and continued management of our portfolio.

“CATS has been a great business for BP but, aligned to the recommendations of the Wood Review, we believe securing this new owner will ensure a better long-term future for this key piece of North Sea infrastructure. Supporting staff and ensuring continued safe operations will be our priority as we go through this transition period.”

The sale of CATS will be as a fully operational business, with staff expected to transfer to the new employer with contractual terms and conditions protected under UK TUPE regulations.

Subject to the receipt of regulatory and other third party approvals, BP aims to complete the sale and transfer of operatorship before the end of 2015.

The sale does not impact BP’s rights to capacity in CATS.

Further information



BP press office, Aberdeen, 01224 833 056

BP press office, London, 0207 496 40763

Notes to editors


  • CATS Operator: BP
  • CATS Owners:
    • BP: 36.22%
    • Antin Infrastructure Partners: 62.78%
    • ConocoPhillips: 0.66%
    • ENI: 0.34%
  • Construction of the CATS pipeline and associated infrastructure commenced in 1991, with first throughput in 1993.
  • CATS comprises:
    • a riser platform located adjacent to the Everest platform in block 22/10
    • a 36-inch diameter, 404km long pipeline, from the riser platform to the gas terminal
    • a gas terminal at Seal Sands, Teesside. It occupies a 70-acre site and has a processing capacity of 1,200 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (mmscfd).
  • CATS transports c. 8% of the UK’s gas demand.
  • CATS has more than 20 third-party customers as well as transporting gas from BP’s ETAP and Andrew facilities.
  • Around 60 BP employees are expected to transfer with the asset.
  • Antin Infrastructure Partners is a leading independent European infrastructure manager. Their investments are focused on energy and environmental, transport, and telecoms infrastructure.
  • Antin already own a majority interest in CATS, following their deal with BG last year.
  • Antin will appoint a contract operator as duty holder of the CATS pipeline and associated infrastructure, to operate the facilities on their behalf. BP staff are expected to transfer to this contract operator.
  • Antin expects to identify and appoint a contract operator during Q2 2015.

Cautionary statement


This press release contains certain forward-looking statements concerning BP's expectations regarding the sale of its Central Area Transmission System (CATS) Business to Antin Infrastructure Partners, including expectations regarding BP’s North Sea strategy and future prospects for and investments in the area, expectations regarding the transition of CATS to new owners and the future prospects thereof. Actual results may differ from those expressed in such statements, depending on a variety of factors including changes in public expectations and other changes to business conditions; the timing, quantum and nature of divestments; the receipt of relevant third-party and/or regulatory approvals; future levels of industry product supply; demand and pricing; OPEC quota restrictions; PSA effects; operational problems; regulatory or legal actions; economic and financial conditions generally or in various countries and regions; political stability and economic growth in relevant areas of the world; changes in laws and governmental regulations; exchange rate fluctuations; development and use of new technology; the success or otherwise of partnering; the actions of competitors, trading partners and others; natural disasters and adverse weather conditions; changes in public expectations and other changes to business conditions; wars and acts of terrorism, cyber-attacks or sabotage; and other factors discussed under "Risk factors" in our Annual Report and Form 20-F 2014.

BP in the North Sea


  • The North Sea is an important region for BP and it expects to sustain a significant business here for the long term.
  • Along with its co-venturers, BP is in the middle of a five year, £7 billion investment programme in the North Sea, including in major projects in the central North Sea and Shetland area.
  • BP recently announced first oil from the Kinnoull field, tied back to the Andrew platform, in the central North Sea.
  • BP is continuing to invest in its major projects west of Shetland, Clair Ridge and Quad204, both of which will bring important new oil into production. BP is also investing in the reliability and integrity of its mature assets through an extensive renewal programme.
  • BP has an active exploration and appraisal programme in the North Sea and in October 2014 announced the Vorlich discovery in the central North Sea.
  • BP has so far been awarded seven licence blocks across the northern and central North Sea as part of last year’s 28th licensing round.