* BP announced deal to sell assets to TNK-BP this week
* Petrovietnam examining purchase, no decision yet
* Petrovietnam, ONGC have priority option to buy
* BP says aware of partners' preemptive rights
(Adds BP comment, paragraphs 6-7)
By John Ruwitch
HANOI, Oct 22 Vietnamese state oil group
Petrovietnam said on Friday it still has the option to buy the
offshore oil projects BP (BP.L) this week agreed to sell to its
Russian joint venture TNK-BP TNBPI.RTS.
On Monday, BP announced that it had agreed to sell a
package of oil and gas fields in Vietnam and Venezuela to
TNK-BP for $1.8 billion as the London-based oil major raises
cash to pay for its Gulf of Mexico oil spill. [ID:nLDE69H0FW]
Petrovietnam has priority to buy the assets from BP at the
same price that TNK-BP has agreed to pay, a Petrovietnam
official told Reuters on Friday.
She declined to say how much the Russian firm had offered
for Vietnamese assets, but some have valued the assets at
around $1 billion.
"We are still examining the deal and have not decided yet,"
said the official who declined to be identified by name or
A BP spokeswoman in Vietnam declined to comment on whether
or not the British oil major was talking to Petrovietnam about
a possible purchase, or how much TNK-BP offered.
She said the British oil major was aware of its partners'
pre-emptive right with regard to the asset sale, and confirmed
that the sale of BP's Vietnam assets would have to be approved
by the Vietnamese government.
India's Oil Natural Gas Corp (ONGC.BO), another partner of
BP's in Vietnam, was also given priority options to buy the
stake and had the right to approve the final sale, according to
a report in state-run media on Friday.
ONGC, a state-run explorer, had expressed interest in the
assets and in July said it was expecting to submit a joint
offer with Petrovietnam. [ID:nSGE66R02M]
The sale would bring to around $11.5 billion the amount BP
has agreed from asset sales in recent months. The company has a
divestment target of $25 billion to $30 billion over the next
Under the deal TNK-BP would acquire BP's 35 percent stake
in an offshore gas condensate project; a 32.7 percent stake in
the Nam Con Son gas pipeline and a 33.3 percent stake in the
Phu My 3 power plant.
All three of these assets form an integrated gas and power
project with a production capacity of 30,000 barrels of oil
equivalent per day, on a working interest basis.
(Additional reporting by Ngo Thi Ngoc Chau; Editing by Lincoln