* Regulator awaits details on BP’s Brazil strategy
* Wants more answers from BP on Gulf of Mexico disaster
* BP planning to pay $7 bln for Devon offshore blocks (Adds details)
RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Brazil’s state oil regulator, ANP, will wait until 2011 to decide whether to approve BP’s (BP.L) proposed purchase of Devon Energy’s (DVN.N) offshore oil blocks, the agency’s director said on Monday.
BP said at the beginning of this year that it had reached a deal with Devon to take over its Brazilian oil assets for $7 billion, but the ANP wants more information from the British firm about its plans before giving approval.
Haroldo Lima, director general of the ANP, told Reuters in an interview it was still awaiting specific information it had sought from BP, chiefly, about its strategy and intentions in Brazilian oil as well as more details about the recent oil rig disaster in Gulf of Mexico.
“We’re asking that they put together a more general document setting forth what happened and how they see themselves in Brazil, along with the more technical documents about the sale of rights,” Lima said.
In April, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which had been contracted to BP, exploded, killing 11 crew, and sank off the Louisiana coast, causing the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.
Lima said the ANP wanted to know whether BP, which currently has no oil assets in Brazil, was intent on a long-term commitment in the country, which is set to become one of the world’s major energy providers.
After state oil company Petrobras (PETR4.SA) announced massive deep-water oil discoveries over the past three years, Brazil has become the world’s new oil frontier and will attract hundreds of billions of dollars in exploration, production and refining investments in the coming decade.
Lima, who met with BP Chief Executive Robert Dudley last week, said the executive told him that BP was interested in participating in future oil exploration and production bidding rounds.
“They said that they’ve come to stay. They have interests in subsalt ... deep waters, onshore,” Lima said. (Reporting by Denise Luna; Writing by Peter Murphy; Editing by Walter Bagley)