BP in joint bid for deep sea licence

BP is understood to be teaming up with US oil giant Chevron to bid for a deep sea exploration licence in the South China Sea. Chevron will hold the majority stake and will be the operator of the concession, according to reports in the Wall Street Journal.

The move indicates BP remains undeterred by the ongoing catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig in April. If the Chinese exploration is successful, the China National Offshore Oil Corporation has the right to take a 51 per cent stake in the block.

BP refused to confirm or deny the speculation yesterday. "We look at business opportunities all over the world but we cannot comment on specifics," a spokesman for the group said.