In an attempt to raise up to $30 billion to pay for liabilities related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, BP (NYSE:BP) is trying to sell assets in Venezuela, and they've been given approval by the government to go ahead with the process.
The assets held in Venezuela include an interest in heavy oil and minority stakes in two exploration and production ventures with state-owned oil company PDVSA.
Combined it is estimated BP should be able to raise up to $1 billion from the assets. Although a relatively minor deal in comparison with others, it is one of the bigger challenges for the company to divest of.
The only two companies considered a buyers for the stakes are PDVSA itself, and possibly the joint venture of BP with Russia called TNK-BP. The Russian connection would make it more palatable to Venezuela.
BP holds a 50 percent stake in TNK-BP, which also has interests in Vietnam and Algerian assets held by BP.