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BP said to seek bids for US$2 billion in US pipeline operations

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BP is seeking buyers for as much as US$2 billion of US pipelines and storage terminals, according to people familiar with the matter, making the UK energy giant the latest looking to offload some of its non-drilling infrastructure.

[NEW YORK] BP is seeking buyers for as much as US$2 billion of US pipelines and storage terminals, according to people familiar with the matter, making the UK energy giant the latest looking to offload some of its non-drilling infrastructure.

In the last two weeks, BP sent offering materials to potential buyers of two batches of assets: Its interest in four pipelines and a gas plant along the Gulf of Mexico, and 15 storage terminals in the Midwest and on the East Coast, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is not public.

BP is following Chevron Corp, and Royal Dutch Shell Plc in selling infrastructure that helps move and store oil and gas, in order to raise money that can fund drilling. These types of assets are relatively easy to sell because their fee-based business models insulate them from swings in commodity prices.

A spokesman for BP declined to comment. News of the terminal sales was first reported by Oil Price Information Service, a trade news service. BP's shares have gained 16.8 per cent in London this year, leaving it with a market value of 87.6 billion pounds (US$131 billion).

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BP North America Inc, the company's Naperville, Illinois- based subsidiary, operates more than 4,000 miles of pipelines and 21 terminals, according to its website.

The Gulf of Mexico assets it is looking to sell include stakes in three entities BP co-owns with Enterprise Products Partners LP: the Wilprise and Tri-States Pipelines and the Pascagoula Gas Processing Plant, the people said.

It is also seeking to sell its stakes in the Destin and Okeanos Gas pipelines, which it co-owns with Enbridge Inc., the people said.

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