BP sells off Venezuela and Vietnam units

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The Independent Online

BP is selling its businesses in Venezuela and Vietnam to its Russian joint venture TNK-BP for $1.8bn (£1.1bn).

The sale is part of the oil major's efforts to raise $30bn to pay for the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, which unleashed the world's biggest oil spill. Mikhail Fridman, the chief executive of the Russian company TNK-BP, described it yesterday as "a milestone in TNK-BP's strategic expansion in the global energy market".

The deal includes BP's interests in Petroperijá, Boqueró* and PetroMonagas in Venezuela and in the Lan Tay and Lan Do gas fields, plus associated pipelines and power generation, in Vietnam. TNK-BP is to pay a deposit of $1bn on 29 October, with the balance due on completion of the sales. It is a cash deal.

Ownership of TNK-BP is split 50:50 between BP and the AAR Consortium. The company faced internal ructions in 2008 as the Russian shareholders accused BP and the TNK-BP chief executive, Robert Dudley – now the BP chief executive – of blocking the company's expansion plans.