BP to sell German petrol station unit Aral: report

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Cash-strapped British oil giant BP is looking to sell its its German fuel station unit Aral for at least two billion euros (2.6 billion dollars), a German magazine reported on Saturday.

Wirtschaftswoche cited unnamed investment bankers as saying that potential buyers of Germany's leading petrol station network with 2,500 outlets included France's Total, European rival Avia and Russia's Rosneft.

Rosneft has already signalled its interest to BP, which faces a colossal bill from its catastrophic Gulf of Mexico oil spill, in supplying Aral with petrol refined from Russian oil, the weekly said.

Rosneft is also eyeing up refineries owned by BP in northern Germany, the magazine added in a pre-release of an article to be published on Monday.

BP chief executive Tony Hayward said he was stepping down on Tuesday, following a string of gaffes as the public face of the firm in its three-month fight to stop oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico.

BP also said it was putting aside more than 32 billion dollars to cover the cost of the spill, and reported a record second-quarter loss of 16.9 billion dollars.

© 2010 AFP

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