BP may sell German gas stations for $2.6 billion: report

VIENNA (Reuters) - BP Plc is seeking to sell its German petrol station chain Aral for around 2 billion euros ($2.6 billion), German magazine Wirtschaftswoche reported on Saturday, citing investment bankers familiar with BP’s plans.

BP last week unveiled plans to sell $30 billion of assets -- mainly upstream oil and gas fields-- over the next 18 months to cover costs related to the Gulf oil spill, the worst in U.S. history.

Wirtschaftswoche said France’s Total, Russia’s Rosneft and Avia, an independent chain of filling stations, were among the possible buyers. Rosneft would also be interested in BP’s two German refineries, it said.

BP and Rosneft declined to comment on the story. An industry source said that a sale of Aral was unlikely because the chain was integrated into BP’s refinery system and BP’s asset sales were focused on oil and gas fields.

Aral is the market leader in Germany where around 2,400 filling stations operate under its brand, it says on its website. BP bought the chain in 2002 as part of a larger deal with German energy group E.ON.

Reporting by Boris Groendahl and Tom Bergin; editing by Sue Thomas