BP to sell Viet Nam assets to fund cleanup
HCM CITY — British oil giant BP has said it plans to sell its upstream assets in Viet Nam to raise cash to pay for its oil spill off the US coast.
The assets include Lan Tay and Lan Do gas fields and facilities, Nam Con Son Gas Pipeline and Dinh Co Terminal and Phu My Power Plant No 3.
BP Viet Nam declined to comment about the total value of these assets but Reuters reported they were worth an estimated US$1 billion.
The company said it had informed the Government about its intention to divest its assets in Viet Nam and was now awaiting the Government's approval.
"The plan does not affect BP's other businesses in the country such as the crude oil supply to Dung Quat Refinery and the lubricants business."
A spokeswoman for BP Viet Nam also declined to comment about suitors for these assets, saying: "It's too early to speak about the buyers."
Dow Jones Newswire reported there had been no talks between BP and the Viet Nam Oil and Gas Group on the sale of BP's assets. PetroVietnam, as the latter is known, has an equal share in BP's assets in Viet Nam.
It quoted a senior PetroVietnam official as saying there should be discussions and an agreement between BP and PetroVietnam before the sale takes place.
BP entered Viet Nam in 1989 and in the 1990s discovered four major gas fields 320km off the HCM City coast.
The $1.3 billion Nam Con Son Gas Project is a complex operation involving the development of the Lan Tay and Lan Do fields, laying of a 400km pipeline and construction of the 720MW Phu My Thermal Power Plant No 3 in the southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province.
Production started in November 2002 and BP now supplies 4 billion cubic metres of gas annually to generate around 24 per cent of Viet Nam's electricity. — VNS/wire services