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TNK-BP May Buy Assets In BP's Post-Spill Sale

TNK-BP may be a buyer in BP's asset sale to help pay for BP's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the biggest U.S. oil spill ever, TNK-BP deputy chief executive Maxim Barsky said Wednesday.

"If BP starts to sell assets which are of interest to us, we will take part," he told reporters, adding that BP has yet to decide which assets it will sell.

Barsky said TNK-BP, responsible for a quarter of BP's output, would be particularly interested in the British oil major's downstream units in Europe and other assets related to tight and unconventional gas and offshore drilling.

BP, which co-owns TNK-BP together with Russia-connected partners, plans to sell about $10 billion worth of assets to help pay for the BP oil spill, which is the worst U.S. environmental accident.

BP has said it would suspend dividends to shareholders, reduce its investment program and sell some of its assets after agreeing with the U.S. government to set aside $20 billion to pay for the spill.

Meanwhile, TNK-BP is in the process of recovering its close to $1 billion investment in the huge Kovykta gas field near China after it pushed the field unit toward bankruptcy.

Jonathan Muir, TNK-BP's chief financial officer, also said Wednesday that the company may borrow up to $1 billion later this year.

The firm has been actively seeking to increase its foreign presence, and last month it entered the Iraqi market with a view to tap the world's third-largest crude reserves.

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