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BP reportedly selling major stake in U.S. pipelines, including to Whiting refinery
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BP reportedly selling major stake in U.S. pipelines, including to Whiting refinery

From the ICYMI: Here are the most-read stories from the past week series
BP reportedly selling major stake in U.S. pipelines, including to Whiting refinery

The BP Whiting Refinery is shown.

BP is reportedly selling a major stake in its U.S. pipelines, including to the BP Whiting Refinery.

Bloomberg is reporting the London-based energy giant sold a $700 million stake in BP Pipelines, including pipelines that run to its largest refinery in Whiting, to the investment firm Sixth Street. BP owns or manages more than 4,300 miles of pipelines that carry 1.1 million barrels or crude oil and refined petroleum products.

BP said in a news release it had reaped "$0.7 billion from the sale of a 49% interest in a controlled affiliate holding certain refined product and crude logistics assets onshore U.S.," but the company declined to comment further.

The operator of the BP Whiting Refinery along the Lake Michigan lakeshore in Whiting, Hammond and East Chicago said it had reached its debt reduction target for the first quarter of this year by selling off assets. The company had $38.9 billion in debt at the end of the fourth quarter.

BP's debt was posted to grow during the first half of this year because of severance payments, a $1.2 billion pre-tax annual Gulf of Mexico oil spill payment and a payment owed to Equinor over an offshore joint wind venture.

BP is looking to slash oil and gas production by 40% worldwide — about 1 million barrels of oil equivalent per day — as it looks to become carbon neutral by 2050.

But BP started to divest assets and has reaped about $4.7 billion of disposal proceeds, including $2.4 billion from the sale of a 20% interest in Oman's Block 61, $1 billion from the sale of its petrochemicals business to INEOS and $400 million from the the sale of its interest in Palantir.

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“We are pleased to announce that we now expect to have reached our $35 billion net debt target during the first quarter 2021," CEO Bernard Looney said. "This is a result of earlier than anticipated delivery of disposal proceeds combined with very strong business performance during the first quarter. We look forward to updating the market at our first-quarter results, including further information on share buybacks.”

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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