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BP finalizes sale of San Juan Basin assets

European company IKAV buys natural gas operations
BP America Production Co. has finalized its sale of natural gas assets, like this one pictured in 2018, in the San Juan Basin.

BP America Production Co. finalized its sale of assets in the San Juan Basin natural gas and oil field on Feb. 28 to a European renewable energy company, IKAV.

BP originally announced its plan to pull out of the San Juan Basin in August 2018, a larger strategy in which the company had to divest about $6 billion to fund the further purchase of oil and gas operations in other regions of the U.S.

La Plata County Commissioner Gwen Lachelt said she was notified of the sale’s completion March 4. While IKAV – which will function under a different name for U.S. operations – has not directly communicated with the county commissioners, she said she expected it would be setting up an appointment with the commission and other officials in the next couple of weeks.

“What I’m really pleased about is it sounds like the new company plans to keep 100% of their employees in the area, which is comforting because we have so many BP wells,” Lachelt said. “Starting off with new people would be difficult.”

According to its website, IKAV specializes in wind and solar development and has offices in Europe, including Paris, Milan, Madrid, Luxembourg, and Hamburg, Germany. The renewable energy company was founded by Constantin von Wasserschleben in 2010. The company has made about 50 individual investments since 2011, primarily in renewables, according to its website. It reports to manage more than $1.6 billion of renewable and energy assets, with 500 megawatts of solar and 800 megawatts of wind projects.

BP America Production Co. sold its assets, like this one photographed in 2018, in the San Juan Basin to a European-based company IKAV.

BP’s selling of assets was not unexpected for those watching the developments in the basin. In August 2018, Williams Partners sold its assets in the San Juan Basin for a reported $1.125 billion, and previously in 2016, ConocoPhillips sold its assets for $3 billion.

Although companies are pulling out of their San Juan Basin natural gas operations, the region was once a leading natural gas producer for the U.S. The area was discovered in the 1920s and began to flourish in the 1990s, with about 30,000 wells. But as global prices for natural gas decreased in the mid-2000s and other energy fields like renewables became cheaper, production in the San Juan Basin decreased.

lweber@durangoherald.com

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