BP shares rally after announcing asset sale


NEW YORK – BP shares on Tuesday jumped to their highest level in seven months after the company announced it was selling another $775 million in assets to help pay for the Gulf oil spill.

The British oil giant expects to pay nearly $40 billion to handle the spill and has aggressively raised money to meet that obligation. In addition to suspending its dividend and selling bonds, the company has sold off nearly $22 billion in assets. It plans to shed up to $30 billion in company assets by the end of 2011.

BP’s latest sale included exploration and production assets in Pakistan to Hong Kong-based investment group United Energy Group Ltd. The deal, expected to be completed in the first half of 2011, includes nine producing and exploration blocks in Sindh province and four offshore exploration blocks in the Arabian Sea.

Earlier this year, BP said it would sell its stake in Pan American Energy to Argentina’s Bridas Corp. for $7 billion and a group of oil fields and production operations to Apache Corp. for another $7 billion. Other deals include a $1.9 billion sale of BP’s Colombian exploration business to Ecopetrol, a $1.8 billion sale of assets in Vietnam and Venezuela to TNK-BP and another $296 million sale to Puma Energy for BP’s stakes in several fuel marketing businesses in Africa.

BP shares added rose $1.25, or 2.9 percent, to $44.68 in afternoon trading. That’s the highest level since May 27, when BP stock was plummeting in the wake of the April 20 rig explosion off the Louisiana coast.

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
Cooper Law Firm

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