Statoil & BP Close to Agreement on Algerian Asset Sale

BP is in negotiations with Statoil concerning the sale of half of BP's stakes in the Saleh and Amenas natural gas projects in Algeria. Both assets are joint ventures with Algeria's state-owned oil and gas company Sonatrach . In Saleh is 65%-owned by BP, 35% by Sonatrach, while In Amenas is split 50-50 between BP and Sonatrach.

BP would like to sell assets worth up to $6 billion in 2003. For Statoil, the purchase fits its strategy of expanding its overseas operations as its mainstay oil and gas production on the Norwegian continental shelf approaches a decline. Statoil is looking to have international hydrocarbon production make up around 26% of its forecast 2007 total of around 1 million barrels of oil equivalent a day.