BP looking to sell stake in Chinese SECCO

British oil giant BP is seeking buyers for its 50 percent stake in Chinese petrochemicals joint venture SECCO, which could amount to as much as $3 billion.

State-owned China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec) owns the other half of and has a right of first refusal; it is discussing the conditions put forward by BP, but is yet to make a decision.

Situated in Caojing near Shanghai, SECCO is China's largest petrochemicals refinery and was built at a cost of $2.7 billion. A venture formed in 2001, SECCO produces ethylene and propylene, used to make resins, plastics and synthetic rubbers.

BP's stake has been marketed to existing operators in China, including companies from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Europe, according to sources cited by Reuters.

Refining and chemicals has been bright for M&A in the oil sector since the massive drop in oil prices in the past two years. Lower oil prices have boosted refining profits and demand for oil products around the world.

BP has been focusing on cost-cutting in a bid to ride out the oil price downturn, in line with all players in the industry; rivals Chevron and BG Group have also recently sold stakes in Asian ventures as they focus on home markets.

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SOURCE: [Reuters


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