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BP plans to sell assets worth $30bn to meet oil spill costs

Oil giant expects to have paid majority of spill costs by end of this year.

BP is planning to sell assets worth $30bn over the next 18 months to meet the costs of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Meanwhile, BP continues to access new business opportunities, with new agreements in Azerbaijan, Egypt, China and Indonesia. The company said it is taking a prudent approach to managing the balance sheet and its financial liquidity in order to meet all of its future financial obligations.

The company plans to reduce its net debt level down to a range of $10bn-$15bn within the next 18 months, compared to net debt of $23bn at the end of June. Group capital spending for 2010 and 2011 will be about $18bn a year, in line with previous forecasts.

Tony Hayward, chief executive of BP, said: "We expect we will pay the substantial majority of the remaining direct spill response costs by the end of the year. Other costs are likely to be spread over a number of years, including any fines and penalties, longer-term remediation, compensation and litigation costs."

BP has reported a second-quarter net loss of $17.2bn compared with a profit of $4.39bn during the same period last year. The company has taken a pre-tax charge of $32.2bn for the oil spill, including the $20bn escrow compensation fund.