June 24 Besieged energy giant BP Plc (BP.L)
(BP.N) is set to partner with U.S. rival Chevron Corp (CVX.N) to
bid for a South China Sea exploration block, the Wall Street
Journal said, citing a person familiar with the matter.
The move signals rival firms are still willing to partner
with BP in deep water projects in spite of the company's failure
to stop a Gulf of Mexico oil well leak that is threatening to
pollute the U.S. Gulf coast, the Journal said.
Chevron will have a 60 percent stake in the block and act as
operator, with BP holding the remaining interest, the person
told the paper.
Cnooc Ltd (0883.HK), a unit of China National Offshore Oil
Corp, has the right to take a 51 percent stake in the block if
the companies make a commercial oil or natural gas discovery,
according to the paper.
However, it was not known whether Cnooc would exercise
pre-emption rights on the asset, the newspaper said.
Oklahoma City-based Devon Energy Corp (DVN.N) has selected
BP and Chevron as preferred buyers for block 42/05, located
about 250 kilometers south of Hong Kong, according to the
The companies involved in the deal declined to comment to
the Journal. They could not immediately be reached for comment
by Reuters outside regular U.S. business hours.
(Reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; editing by Simon