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BP goes on the defensive over collapse of $7bn deal

BP traded insults with China's Cnooc yesterday, as the collapse of their $7.1bn (£4.4bn) deal renewed investor concerns about its strategy.

Bridas, the oil and gas firm owned by Cnooc and Argentina's Bulgheroni family, said BP was to blame for the collapse of the deal, which involved it buying a stake in Argentina's Pan American Energy from the UK oil giant. It said it was abandoning the deal for "legal reasons" and because of "the manner in which BP has behaved".

BP, however, blamed Bridas for the breakdown. It said that the deal failed because Argentine anti-trust and Chinese regulatory approvals had not been obtained, adding that, under their agreement, "Bridas Corporation had exclusive responsibility for obtaining these approvals".