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    BP.   GB0007980591

BP PLC

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BP Considering Plan to Spin Off Iraq Operations Into New Company, Sources Say

06/11/2021 | 09:18am EDT

By Sarah McFarlane and Benoit Faucon

LONDON -- BP PLC is working on a plan to spin off its operations in Iraq into a stand-alone company, according to people familiar with the matter, as the oil giant shuffles its assets and investment plans in its pivot toward lower-carbon energy.

The new company would hold BP's interest in Iraq's giant Rumaila oil field -- one of the world's largest -- and be jointly owned by China National Petroleum Corp., one of the British company's partners at the site, the people said. The new entity would hold its own debt, separate from BP, and is expected to distribute profits via dividends, the people added.

The plan is aimed at giving BP more flexibility to invest in low-carbon energy by enabling it to reduce its spending on oil and gas, the people said.

Any such move would underscore how some European oil companies are backing away from decades of pioneering exploration in sometimes challenging locations to refocus on where future energy demand is expected to grow: low-carbon fuels and electricity.

The potential move would have particular significance for BP because of its history in Iraq, dating to the 1920s. BP was the first international oil business to return to Iraq after the U.S.-led invasion.

For BP to go ahead with a new company for its Iraqi operations, it would first need to secure the agreement of state-backed Basra Oil Company and Iraq's national oil company, the State Organization for Marketing of Oil, or SOMO, which are part of the Rumaila Operating Organization.

BP's plan for its Iraqi business is similar to what it recently said it was considering in Angola, the people familiar with the matter said.

--Ben Dummett contributed to this article.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

06-11-21 1118ET

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BP PLC 0.29% 324.3 Delayed Quote.27.28%
WTI 0.93% 70.787 Delayed Quote.45.60%
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2021 227 B - -
Net income 2021 9 801 M - -
Net Debt 2021 40 037 M - -
P/E ratio 2021 9,70x
Yield 2021 4,59%
Capitalization 92 199 M 92 199 M -
EV / Sales 2021 0,58x
EV / Sales 2022 0,54x
Nbr of Employees 63 600
Free-Float 93,9%
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Mean consensus HOLD
Number of Analysts 26
Average target price 4,94 $
Last Close Price 4,57 $
Spread / Highest target 58,1%
Spread / Average Target 8,06%
Spread / Lowest Target -38,0%
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Managers and Directors
NameTitle
Bernard Looney Chief Executive Officer & Director
Murray Auchincloss Chief Financial Officer & Director
Helge Lund Chairman
Gordon Young Birrell Executive Vice President-Production & Operations
Paula Rosput Reynolds Senior Independent Director
Sector and Competitors
1st jan.Capitalization (M$)
BP PLC27.28%92 199
EXXON MOBIL CORPORATION50.82%263 199
CHEVRON CORPORATION27.78%208 057
RELIANCE INDUSTRIES LTD11.48%191 884
CHINA PETROLEUM & CHEMICAL CORPORATION21.90%83 500
NESTE OYJ-7.20%51 000