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BP sells major assets to pay for oil spill clean-up

Oil giant BP announced the sale of several major assets to US firm Apache for seven billion dollars. The proceeds will go towards a 20 billion dollar fund dedicated to cleaning up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

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AP -  BP PLC said Tuesday it is selling several major assets to Apache Corp. for $7 billion to help pay the costs from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The proceeds will go towards a $20 billion fund to help pay cleanup costs and damages from the spill. Apache has agreed to give BP a $5 billion cash deposit on July 30.

A month ago, BP said it planned to shed as much as $10 billion in assets over the next 12 months. The company has spent about $4 billion so far on containing and cleaning up the oil, as well as on damage claims from Gulf businesses.

BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg said the deal with Apache is the first transaction meant to help pay for the spill. ``The board believes that there are opportunities to divest assets which are strategically more valuable to other parties than they are to BP,'' he said.

BP said the assets include:

 Oil fields and gas processing plants in Texas and southeast New Mexico worth $3.1 billion.

BP's upstream Western Canadian gas business for $3.25 billion. Oil exploration and production assets in Egypt worth about $650 million.

The sale doesn't include BP's stake in Prudhoe Bay, countering published reports that said a deal with Apache for the Alaska field was in the works.

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