India's Reliance, Essar eyeing BP's African assets: report

28th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

India's energy giant Reliance Industries and Essar Oil are in the race to buy BP's fuel distribution assets in Africa for between 400 and 500 million dollars, a report said Wednesday.

BP is selling retail outlets and aviation fuel stations in Botswana, Tanzania, Namibia, Malawi and possibly also Zambia, the Press Trust of India agency said on Wednesday.

The report, citing unnamed industry sources, said Reliance and Essar have offered between 400 and 500 million dollars for the assets, though it was unclear if they intended to buy all of them.

The companies are being sold by BP to raise cash to cover costs related to the Gulf of Mexico oil leak, caused by a BP rig, which is the worst environmental disaster in US history.

On Tuesday, BP reported it suffered a loss of 16.9 billion dollars in the second quarter in the wake of the devastating Gulf spill, which is forecast to cost the company 32.2 billion dollars.

BP intends to sell 30 billion dollars of assets -- mainly upstream oil and gas fields -- over the next 18 months to help pay for the Gulf spill clean-up and compensation.

A Reliance Industries and Essar declined to comment on the report when contacted by AFP.

© 2010 AFP

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