BP rises after sells Argentine stake for $7 billion

By Tom Bergin

LONDON (BestGrowthStock) – Shares in oil major BP (BP.L: ) rose on Monday after the company said at the weekend that it had agreed to sell its 60 percent interest in Pan American Energy for $7 billion.

Analysts welcomed the sale, saying it was another milestone in the company’s rehabilitation, as it claws its way back from its Gulf of Mexico oil spill, selling assets to cover the expected $40 billion cost.

“The $7.06 billion price tag for the asset base sold is more than fair in our view,” said Jason Kenney oil analyst at ING in Edinburgh. BP shares traded up 1.2 percent at pence at 0918 GMT, outperforming a percent rise in the STOXX Europe 600 Oil and Gas index (.SXEP: ).

The deal takes BP close to its target of raising $25 billion to $30 billion in asset sales by the end of 2011, with $21 billion in sales agreed in recent months.

BP has also said it is looking for a buyer for its gas fields in Pakistan, and sales which BP sources said were under consideration include some of BP’s Alaskan fields and interests in Algeria.

BP said on Sunday that it had agreed to sell the Pan American stake to Bridas, which is half owned by China’s CNOOC and the family of Argentine tycoon Carlos Bulgheroni.

The stake BP is selling represents reserves of 917 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) and production of 143,000 boe per day.

BP has said it expects it production to fall to 3.5 million boe/day, from 4.0 million boe/day last year, as a result of its divestment program.

(Reporting by Tom Bergin; Editing by Hans Peters)

BP rises after sells Argentine stake for $7 billion