BP chief executive 'on visits to important partners'

6th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

BP said Tuesday that chief executive Tony Hayward was visiting "our important partners" but refused to confirm media reports that he had gone on from a trip to Azerbaijan to visit Abu Dhabi.

"Our chief executive is on a general series of visits to our important partners," a BP spokesman told AFP.

The British oil giant is reportedly seeking the support of foreign sovereign wealth funds in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster and the resulting collapse in the company's share price.

Media reports say securing the support of sovereign wealth funds could stave off a possible takeover bid for BP from a major competitor such as Exxon, Shell or Total.

Earlier Tuesday on a visit to Baku, Hayward reassured Azerbaijan of his company's commitment to energy projects in the ex-Soviet republic despite rising costs from the Gulf of Mexico spill, now put at some three billion dollars.

Seeking to dampen speculation that BP may try to offload some of its assets in Azerbaijan to help cover its spiralling costs from the spill, Hayward said the company was dedicated to its projects in the Caspian Sea nation.

© 2010 AFP

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