BP offers Thai oil and gas assets for sale

Click to follow
BRITISH Petroleum, the debt- laden oil giant, has put up for sale its oil and gas assets in Thailand.

The move is part of the company's programme to raise up to dollars 2bn ( pounds 1.2bn) from asset disposals this year to reduce its net debts of about dollars 16bn.

The company is carrying out a discreet international auction of the assets, which include a producing oilfield on the mainland and a gas block offshore currently under development.

BP has provided detailed information on the assets to several potential buyers in recent weeks. The leading contender is understood to be Unical, the American group that is operator and majority shareholder in the offshore block.

BP is selling the assets because they are peripheral to its core interests. The onshore field, which is wholly owned by BP, produces 1,000 barrels of oil per day while the gas field contains significant proven reserves.

Industry estimates suggest the company could raise about dollars 20m from the sale.

However, insiders remain confident that it will be able to reach its dollars 1.5bn to dollars 2bn disposal target for 1992. So far, it has raised about dollars 650m.

Olympic Dam, the big Australian mining venture in which BP has a 49 per cent stake, is a prime candidate for sale, but is not expected to go until next year.