BP plc (NYSE:BP) Looks to Raise close to $8 bln via Sale of Gulf fields

Europe's No. 2 oil producer, BP plc (ADR)(NYSE:BP) is looking to raise close to $8 billion (before taxes) through the sale of assets in its Gulf of Mexico oilfields, a report said on Tuesday.

The fields hold proven oil reserves of 120 million barrels of oil and had produced 58,000 barrels a day of oil in the first quarter, Bloomberg reported, quoting a an unidentified person.

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The company had prepared preliminary information for prospective buyers for the oilfields, which was the scene of the worst oil spill in history following an accident by the company in 2010 that wiped out nearly a third of its market value.

The oilfields on the block include the Horn Mountain, Holstein, Diana Hoover and Ram Powell fields, the report said.

The net consideration that the company will be able to get after the payment of taxes would be about $5 to $6 billion, Bloomberg said.

Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley plans to sell $38 billion of assets by the end of next year and earlier this year the London-based company had said that it planned to sell some non-strategic assets in the Gulf region.

Bloomberg said that a BP spokesman declined to comment on the details of the sale.

The Gulf of Mexico fields are some of the most productive and profitable in the company's portfolio. Dudley had earlier said on a conference call that the company wanted to focus more on the production hubs of Thunder Horse, Atlantis, Mad Dog and Na Kika fields.

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The company has six rigs working in the region and plans to have eight by the end of the year, the most ever.

European companies such as Norway's Statoil ASA have been eyeing this region for a while now as it is closer to the U.S. energy market that offers a lot of opportunities and always has the advantage of lower taxes.
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