BP sells Gulf of Mexico assets to rival Plains

British oil giant BP said Monday it will sell $5.55 billion in assets in the Gulf of Mexico to a Texas rival, Plains Exploration, but will keep the Macondo well, site of the Deepwater Horizon platform and accident.

"While these assets no longer fit our business strategy, the Gulf of Mexico remains a key part of BP's global exploration and production portfolio and we intend to continue investing at least $4 billion there annually over the next decade," Bob Dudley, BP group chief executive, said in a statement.

BP's move reflects its "greater focus in the Gulf of Mexico on producing more high-margin barrels from fewer, larger assets," the company said.

An explosion on April 20, 2010 killed 11 workers and ultimately sank the Deepwater Horizon rig, unleashing the biggest marine oil spill in the industry's history and what many consider the worst US environmental disaster ever.

BP reached an agreement in April to settle claims from fishermen and others affected by the disaster for $7.8 billion, but it must be approved by a federal judge and does not affect claims brought by the government.

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