BP in talks to sell assets worth $12 billion to Apache Corp

Besieged British oil giant, BP is reportedly in talks with Apache Corporation of the US to sell assets worth up to $12 billion including its stake in Alaska's Prudhoe Bay, the largest oil field in North America.

The Sunday Times yesterday reported without disclosing its information source that Houston-based Apache is holding talks with BP on acquiring some of its assets worth $12 billion.

Apache, the second-largest independent oil and gas company in the US after Anadarko Petroleum had approached BP several weeks back on a potential asset purchase, including a stake in Prudhoe Bay, the newspaper said.

BP's stock has lost about half its value since the 20 April explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig that caused a massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, the largest oil spill in history. (See: BP caught in the sludge of potentially worst oil disaster in US history)

London-based BP, which needs tens of billions of dollars to fund its oil spill costs, has said that it would not issue new shares but raise about $10 billion by selling non-core assets.

Apache, with market capitalisation of approximately $30 billion and 2009 revenues of $8.615 billion, has bought some of BP assets in the past and has made two major acquisitions in April 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico, worth $3.75 billion.