BP to sell assets for $7 billion to help pay for spill

July 21, 2010 04:32

NEW YORK— BP PLC said Tuesday it will sell assets in the US, Canada and Egypt to Apache Corp. for $7 billion to help pay costs from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

At least part of the proceeds will go towards a $20 billion fund that BP agreed to last month under pressure from the Obama administration. The fund will help pay cleanup costs and damages from the spill.

As the spill escalated in the weeks after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig, BP realized it would need to boost its cash reserves to pay costs that analysts have said could rise to $100 billion. The company suspended dividend payments of about $10.6 billion for this year and sped up plans to sell $10 billion in assets.

Apache eventually emerged as a potential buyer.

"If it hadn't been for the Gulf incident, I'm sure we wouldn't be sitting here tonight," Apache Chief Executive G. Steven Farris told investors after announcing the deal.

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