Marubeni to buy stakes in BP Gulf of Mexico wells

TOKYO (BestGrowthStock) – Japan’s Marubeni Corp (8002.T: ) said on Monday it has agreed to pay $650 million for the stakes held by a unit of BP (BP.L: ) (BP.N: ) in four oil and gas wells in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, as the British oil company looks to offload assets in the wake of a massive oil spill in the region.

BP is selling up to $30 billion in assets to pay for costs related to a rupture at one of its Gulf of Mexico wells earlier this year that killed 11 rig workers and caused the worst-ever U.S. oil spill.

Marubeni, Japan’s fifth-biggest trading firm, is set to buy the production interests held by BP Exploration & Production in the Nansen, Magnolia, Merganser and Zia wells, worth a total of 15,000 barrels per day (bpd).

When Marubeni completes the purchase by early 2011, its oil and gas upstream assets will total 50,000 bpd of crude oil equivalent, up 43 percent from 35,000 bpd currently, a Marubeni spokesman said.

“Marubeni and BP have had a business partnership in the Gulf of Mexico from before the accident,” the spokesman said, referring to the April 20 well rupture.

“These wells have had a track record of operating without problems for about 10 years,” the spokesman said.

(Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori and Risa Maeda; Editing by Joseph Radford)

Marubeni to buy stakes in BP Gulf of Mexico wells