BP sells assets in Malaysia to pay for US spill

BP HAS sold its Malaysian ethylene and polyethylene assets to Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) for $363m (£234.8m) to help foot the bill for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the worst environmental disaster in US history.

As part of the deal, BP will sell off its 15 per cent interest in Ethylene Malaysia and its 60 per cent stake in Polyethylene Malaysia to Petronas, the Malaysian state owned oil company.

The sale is part of BP’s plan to shed up to $30bn in assets over the next 18 months to fund the clean up and the legal bills of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

“Whilst these are attractive businesses with strong domestic and regional markets, BP recognises that Petronas is their natural owner, with various integration opportunities uniquely available to them,” said Sue Rataj, president of BP’s global petrochemicals business.

Rataj said that the sale would also help BP to focus on pursuing opportunities in China and India.

Separately, BP is being sued for $10bn by Texas attorney general Greg Abbott in connection to the oil major’s Texas City oil refinery.

The class action suit, which was taken out against BP early last month, is alleging that the group has violated environmental laws by emitting up to 500,000 pounds of pollutants into the air.

A statement from the group said: “We will continue to cooperate with the Attorney General’s office.”