Japan’s Mitsui is buying its way into the UK Alba and Britannia gas and condensate fields in a deal with BP.

BP is selling out of the two assets and Mitsui is buying them up for US $280 million in cash.

BP holds a  13.3% stake in Alba and 8.97% in Britannia which are located in the UK Central North Sea. Britannia is operated jointly by Chevron and ConocoPhillips in a 50/50 joint venture under the umbrella company  Britannia Operator Limited, and the field Britannia went into production in 1998.

Alba, in block 16/26, is operated by Chevron and came onstream ins 1994.

“The divestments are part of our strategy to develop a more focused business in the UK and Norway,” explained Trevor Garlick regional president for BP in the North Sea. “BP has a multi-billion pound investment programme currently underway in the region, with four major field development projects in the UK and a further two in Norway.”

The four BP projects underway in the UK are Clair Ridge, Quad 204 – which is the replacement of the Schiehallion FPSO in the West of Shetlands plus development of the Devenick and Kinnoull fields, in addition to the Skarv field and Valhall redevelopment offshore Norway.