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BP to sell Colombian business

AS PART of its $30bn asset-disposal programme, BP agreed to sell 100% of the shares in its Colombian business last month

Ecopetrol, the country's national oil company, and Canada's Talisman Energy will pay a total of $1.9bn in cash for shares of 51% and 49%, respectively, for BP Exploration Colombia (BPXC).

This was the second confirmed sale BP made in as many weeks, after it agreed to sell US, Canadian and Egyptian assets to the US' Apache for $7bn (PE 8/10 p26). An estimated $1.8bn sale of Pakistan and Vietnam assets is also in the pipeline. Indian state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and Singapore's Sembcorp have emerged as possible buyers of the Vietnam asset. These deals, once closed, will total around $10.7bn. With a target of $30bn, the question remains which assets are on the block to cover the remaining $19.3bn?

The next sale could be BP's 16.66% stake in the 110,000 barrels a day (b/d) Petromonagas business in Venezuela, with TNK-BP – its Russian 50:50 joint venture – understood to be the likely buyer. The sale would raise an estimated $1bn. Other sales may involve BP's 26% stake in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, and its 60% stake of Pan American Energy in Argentina, which are valued at $12bn and $9bn, respectively.

BPXC's net proved reserves total around 60m barrels of oil equivalent (boe), with net production of around 25,000 boe/d. Its upstream assets include interests and operator status in the Tauramena (31%), Rio Chitamena (31%), Recetor (50%) and Piedemonte (50%) association contracts, which will expire between 2016 and 2020. Producing fields on these licences include Cusiana, Pauto and Florena. BPXC also has a 40.56% interest in and operates the RC4 and RC5 exploration blocks offshore Cartagena.

Its Colombian midstream assets comprise interests in the Cusiana gas-processing plant and stakes in four pipelines – around 1,600 km of oil lines and 400 km of gas pipes – including a 24.8% interest in the 0.65m b/d Ocensa crude pipeline.

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