Petrovietnam: still has option on BP Vietnam assets

HANOI (BestGrowthStock) – Vietnamese state oil group Petrovietnam said on Friday it still has the option to buy the offshore oil projects BP (BP.L: ) this week agreed to sell to its Russian joint venture TNK-BP (TNBPI.RTS: ).

On Monday, BP announced that it had agreed to sell a package of oil and gas fields in Vietnam and Venezuela to TNK-BP for $1.8 billion as the London-based oil major raises cash to pay for its Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Petrovietnam has priority to buy the assets from BP at the same price that TNK-BP has agreed to pay, a Petrovietnam official told Reuters on Friday.

She declined to say how much the Russian firm had offered for Vietnamese assets.

“We are still examining the deal and have not decided yet,” said the official who declined to be identified by name or title.

A BP communications officer in Vietnam did not have an immediate comment.

Earlier the state-run Vietnam News quoted Petrovietnam’s director general, Phung Dinh Thuc, as saying his company had received a report on Tuesday from BP on the deal with TNK-BP, and had “the right to consider purchase” within 60 days of receiving the report.

India’s Oil Natural Gas Corp (ONGC.BO: ), another partner of BP’s in Vietnam, was also given “priority options” to buy the stake and had the right to approve the final sale, the Vietnam News said.

ONGC, a state-run explorer, had expressed interest in the assets and in July said it was expecting to submit a joint offer with Petrovietnam.

The sale would bring to around $11.5 billion the amount BP has agreed from asset sales in recent months. The company has a divestment target of $25 billion to $30 billion over the next 18 months.

Under the deal TNK-BP would acquire BP’s 35 percent stake in an offshore gas condensate project; a 32.7 percent stake in the Nam Con Son gas pipeline and a 33.3 percent stake in the Phu My 3 power plant.

All three of these assets form an integrated gas and power project with a production capacity of 30,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, on a working interest basis.

Analysts have valued BP’s assets at around $1 billion.

(Reporting by John Ruwitch; Additional reporting by Ngo Thi Ngoc Chau; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Petrovietnam: still has option on BP Vietnam assets