BP Plc, seeking cash to help pay for the worst U.S. oil spill, agreed to sell its Malaysian chemical assets to Petroliam Nasional Bhd. to focus on projects in China and India.
BP will sell its 15 percent stake in Ethylene Malaysia Sdn and 60 percent interest in Polyethylene Malaysia Sdn for $363 million, the London-based company said today in a statement. It will also be eligible for a possible $48 million dividend from the ethylene unit.
“BP will continue to focus on the development and expansion of our olefins and derivatives business in China, and other large rapidly growing markets, and pursue opportunities in China and India,” Sue Rataj, president of BP’s Global Petrochemicals Business, said in the statement.
BP, Europe’s largest oil producer by volume, in July pledged to sell as much as $30 billion of assets over 18 months to raise cash to meet the costs of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. It has already agreed to sell oil and gas fields in the U.S., Canada and Egypt to Houston-based Apache Corp. for $7 billion and assets in Colombia to Ecopetrol SA and Talisman Energy Inc. for $1.9 billion in cash.
In July, the U.K. company informed the governments of Vietnam and Pakistan that it put its production assets in the countries up for sale. BP is considering divesting stakes in Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The transaction “would enable us to strengthen our presence in the olefins and polyolefins business in the region,” Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, an executive vice president at Petronas for downstream business, said in an e- mailed statement.
Ethylene Malaysia has a capacity to produce about 440,000 tons of ethylene a year, which is a basic petrochemical stock. Idemitsu Kosan Co. holds a 12.5 percent stake in the unit.
Polyethylene Malaysia has a capacity to make 318,000 tons of product a year, which is used in packaging and film manufacturing, according to BP.