BP sells asset to fund clean-up operation
Oil giant BP has reached an agreement to sell assets in order to fund its clean-up operation, relating to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
It has sold $7 billion (£4.6 billion) in assets to US-based oil production firm Apache Corp.
As part of the deal, BP will receive a $5 billion cash deposit at the end of this month.
In a statement, BP chief executive, Tony Hayward, said: “We have achieved an excellent price for a set of properties that are worth more to others than BP.”
According to one analyst, Apache has been busy this year on the acquisition trail. It is currently finalising its acquisition of Mariner Energy Inc.
Ben Dell, a Wall Street analyst at Bernstein Research, said: “They’ve done a lot of deals lately. Can they integrate these while keeping up performance?”
Meanwhile, the news comes as BP is continuing a pressure test after five small leaks were found around the well.
However, according to Admiral Thad Allen, the official in charge of the response to the spill, they are more like “drips” than a serious concern.
“We’ve found nothing that would be consequential toward the integrity of the wellhead to date,” said Admiral Allen at a briefing in Washington.
In related news today, it emerged that BP’s chief executive, Tony Hayward, will not be stepping down from the oil giant – despite a newspaper claim that he would be departing in the next 10 weeks.
A spokesperson for the company said: “He [Tony Hayward] has full support from the board and will remain in place.”
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