Former BP boss Tony Hayward is eyeing a new oil venture

Jessica Morris
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BP CEO Tony Hayward Testifies Before House Hearing On Oil Spill
Hayward's plan is still at an early stage (Source: Getty)

The former boss of oil giant BP Tony Hayward is reportedly planning to set up an investment fund which will snap up distressed oil and gas assets.

He has held talks in recent weeks with potential backers including private equity firms and sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East, the Sunday Times reports.

However, his plan remains at an early stage, and firm agreements with investors are yet to be secured.

Hayward, who left BP in 2010 following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, would be joining a number of investors who have created vehicles to cherry pick assets which have become cheap as a consequence of the oil price rout.

Brent crude prices tumbling more than 60 per cent since July 2014 to around $41 per barrel today has squeezed oil and gas firms, with many being forced to sell assets at low prices to shore up their balance sheets.

It comes as Hayward's Genel, which he set up with financier Nat Rothschild in 2011, recently reported its biggest loss since a stock market flotation four years ago.

This was due to a $1.1bn (£762m) impairment from its Taq Taq oil field in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, where it cut its estimated reserves to 356m barrels down from 683m.

Genel's woes have been compounded by hundreds of millions of dollars in overdue payments from the Kurdistan Regional Govern­ment, which the firm has started to recoup recently.

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