UPDATE 1-BP to sell Pan American stake to Bridas for $7 bln

* Takes BP asset sale programme to $21 billion

* Chinese-Argentinean group buying reserves of 917 mln bbls

(Adds detail and background)

By Tom Bergin

LONDON, Nov 28 (BestGrowthStock) – BP (BP.L: ) said it had agreed to
sell its stake in Argentina-based oil and gas group Pan American
Energy (PAE) to Bridas Corp, half-owned by China’s CNOOC
(0883.HK: ), for $7 billion, as it raises cash to pay for the Gulf
oil spill.

The planned sale of the 60 percent interest, which sources
previously said was under discussion and which was for a price
in line with analysts’ estimates, brings to $21 billion the
amount that BP has raised, or agreed sales on, in recent months.

BP has said it expects the costs of the Gulf of Mexico oil
spill — the United States’ worst ever — to hit $40 billion and
said it would sell assets worth $25-$30 billion by the end of
next year to pay for it.

Bridas already owns a 40 percent stake in Pan American
Energy, which BP said was Argentina’s second-largest producer of
oil and gas.

Bridas was owned entirely by the family of Argentine tycoon
Carlos Bulgheroni until CNOOC agreed to buy a 50 percent stake
for $3.1 billion in March.

The 60 percent stake BP is selling represents reserves of
917 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) and production of
143,000 boe per day.

The transaction excludes the shares of Pan American’s
Bolivian unit, BP said.

U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N: ) is seeking to sell
its Argentine unit Esso, which controls hundreds of service
stations and a refinery, local daily El Cronista reported last
month.
(Editing by David Cowell)

UPDATE 1-BP to sell Pan American stake to Bridas for $7 bln