BP to sell upstream gas assets for $7bn

BP has entered into several agreements to sell upstream assets in the US, Canada and Egypt to Apache for $7bn.

The deals are made up of BP’s Permian Basin assets in Texas and south-east New Mexico, US; its Western Canadian upstream gas assets; and the Western Desert business concessions and East Badr El-din exploration concession in Egypt.

Combined, these assets produce 331 million cubic feet of gas and 27,616 barrels of liquids a day.

According to a statement, the decision to make these divestments follows the announcement made by BP last month that it was increasing its target for divestments to $10bn.

BP chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg, said: ‘Over the last two months, the board has considered BP’s options for generating the cash necessary to meet the obligations likely to arise from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

‘BP has an extremely strong asset base, which is diversified geographically as well as by asset class. The board believes that there are opportunities to divest assets that are strategically more valuable to other parties than they are to BP. Today’s announcement is the first such transaction.’

Each sale will take place through a separate agreement between BP and Apache, and none of the sales will be conditional on completion of any of the other sales occurring.

Although each of the transactions is subject to certain regulatory approvals, it is expected that they will all be completed during the third quarter of 2010.