BP's North Star oil station in North Slope, Alaska. Photo: Damian Gillie/Construction Photography/Avalon/Getty Images

BP is selling its oil-and-gas assets in Alaska to Hilcorp Alaska in a $5.6 billion deal that will end its decades-long run as a huge player in the state.

Why it matters: It's a stark sign of the oil giant's repositioning, including its increasing presence in the shale patch in the Lower 48. BP bought BHP's Billiton's U.S. shale assets last year in a $10.5 billion deal.

The big picture: "The sale will include BP’s entire upstream and midstream business in the state, including BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc., that owns all of BP's upstream oil and gas interests in Alaska, and BP Pipelines (Alaska) Inc.'s interest in the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS)," the announcement states.

What they're saying: BP CEO Bob Dudley said the move is part of "steadily reshaping BP and today we have other opportunities, both in the U.S. and around the world, that are more closely aligned with our long-term strategy and more competitive for our investment."

  • The oil giant said it expects the transaction to be completed in 2020.

Go deeper: The shale boom has become a check on the market's long-term volatility

Go deeper

12 mins ago - World

Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" coronavirus wave

Paris under curfew. Photo: Kiran Ridley/Getty Images

The coronavirus is still winning: Now even Germany is entering another national lockdown, joined by France.

Why it matters: France has been "overpowered by a second wave,” President Emmanuel Macron said in a nationally televised address today. Macron said the "new wave will be stronger and deadlier" than the first.

Stocks close down more than 3%

Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld via Getty Images

Stocks took a hit on Wednesday, with the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrials Average and Nasdaq dropping more than 3% across the board.

Why it matters: The volatility is a break from the stock market grinding higher in the face of spiking coronavirus cases, a stalling economy and gridlocked negotiations over an additional stimulus package.