Business

BP sells $1.8bn assets to help pay for oil spill bill

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Image caption BP said the deal was more evidence of its efforts to sell-off some of its businesses

BP is to sell business interests in Vietnam and Venezuela for $1.8bn (£1.1bn) as it raises funds to pay for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

They are being bought by Russia's TNK-BP, which is half-owned by BP.

The sale is part of BP's commitment to raise up to $30bn by the end of 2011 to help meet financial obligations arising from the spill.

BP has already announced plans to sell assets in Egypt, Canada, USA and Colombia for $8.9bn.

The total bill for fighting the spill and compensating victims currently stands at about $11.2bn (£7bn).

'Rapid progress'

Bob Dudley, BP's new chief executive and the former boss of TNK-BP, said that the deal was "further evidence of the rapid progress BP is making towards the divestment target we set out in July".

"These are robust businesses which offer both existing production and potential opportunities for future growth," he added.

BP will retain an economic interest in the assets through its stake in TNK-BP.

Mikhail Fridman, the chief executive of TNK-BP, said that Russia's strong relationships with Vietnam and Venezuela would allow the firm to benefit from the transaction.

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