TNK-BP said to bid for BP Vietnam project as soon as next week

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TNK-BP will make an offer to buy BP Plc's stake in an offshore natural-gas project in Vietnam and three assets in Venezuela as early as next week, said a person close to the Russian oil producer's board.

TNK-BP, owned 50-50 by BP and a group of Russian billionaires, received board approval today to bid for the Nam Con Son gas block, pipeline and facilities in Vietnam and oil assets in Venezuela, the person said, declining to be identified before the offers are made.

The board didn't approve proposals for assets in other countries, the person said. BP's directors on the board recused themselves from the vote, the person said.

TNK-BP board directors BP's former Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and former NATO Secretary-General George Robertson declined to comment.

BP, Europe's largest oil producer by volume, plans to sell $30 billion of assets in 18 months to cover costs linked to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the worst in U.S. history. In Venezuela, BP has stakes in the Petroperija and Boqueron oil fields and the Petromonagas heavy oil-upgrading project, which produces 110,000 barrels of oil a day, according to BP's website. Petroperija and Boqueron produce a combined 19,500 barrels a day, according to PDVSA's website.

Mikhail Fridman, executive chairman and one of the Russian shareholders in TNK-BP, said in a Sept. 15 interview that the venture is ready to buy the assets, as well as those BP is selling in other countries.

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