* Chevron seeks to sell seven fields in central North Sea
* Becomes latest oil major to reduce presence in region
* Chevron reviewing its operations in Europe -spokeswoman (Adds details, background)
LONDON, July 4 (Reuters) - Chevron has kicked off the sale of a number of its oil and gas fields in the ageing North Sea as part of a review of the U.S. giant's European operations.
The San Ramon, California-based company is the latest veteran North Sea producer seeking to scale back its presence in the 50-year-old North Sea basin, where production has been on a steady decline since the late 1990s.
BP, Royal Dutch Shell and ConocoPhillips have all sold assets in the North Sea in recent years.
"Chevron Upstream Europe is undertaking a review of its portfolio...a decision has been taken to initiate the process of marketing all our UK Central North Sea assets," a company spokeswoman said in a statement.
The assets include the Alba, Alder, Captain, Elgin/Franklin, Erskine, and Jade fields as well as the Britannia platform and its satellites.
Chevron has in recent years focused its efforts on rapidly growing its shale production in the Permian basin in Texas as well as the giant Tengiz field in Kazakhstan.
While seeking to exit some of its North Sea assets, Chevron is also weighing the development of the Rosebank field west of the Shetland islands. The company, along with its partners Suncor, Siccar Point and Ineos, is trying to reduce the costs of the project.
Chevron's net daily production in the North Sea in 2017 averaged 50,000 barrels of oil and 155 million cubic feet of natural gas, according to its website.
Chevron employs around 610 people and 220 contractors in the North Sea, the spokeswoman said. (Additional reporting by Shadia Nasralla, editing by Louise Heavens)