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BP in serial asset disposals


BP plc has sold its assets in the southern African nations of Namibia, Botswana and Zambia to international oil trader Trafigura, The Namibian daily newspaper said on Friday, citing a government minister.

The oil major has also announced it is selling its refined oil assets in Zimbabwe to Masawara plc’s FMI Zimbabwe.

Similar disposals are scheduled to take place in Tanzania and other African countries in terms of its withdrawal plan reached after a review of its portfolio of African investments last year.

The Namibian daily newspaper gave no amount for the sale, which it said had been confirmed by Namibia Mines and Energy minister Isak Katali.

BP has committed to sell up to $30 billion of non-core assets to pay for its devastating oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico this year.

A spokeswoman for BP in Johannesburg, Glenda Zvenyika, said the company was in talks to sell assets in the three countries, as well as Malawi and Tanzania, but no decision had been made.

“BP is in the process of selecting a buyer for its assets in five African countries and that’s all there is at the moment. Before we make an announcement on the deal, these reports are just speculation.”

Namibia’s Katali was not immediately available for comment.

Namibian state-owned petroleum corporation Namcor had bid N$637,5 million to buy BP’s assets in the country, but failed to secure backing from the government.

Separately, The Namibian reported UK-based oil firm Glencore has warned the Namibian government it will fight the potential cancellation of its contract to provide 50% of the country’s oil.

The government last month suspended Namcor from procuring Glencore, even though the two have a contract that runs to 2014.

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