BP's Reliance Asset Buy Near Approval

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BP's plans to acquire stakes in 23 Indian oil and natural gas blocks operated by Reliance Industries is close to being approved and could be approved as early as next week, an oil ministry official with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg News. The British oil giant announced the deal in late February.

After selling nearly $25 billion in assets over the past 15 months to raise cash for costs tied to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and missing out on a potentially lucrative Russian alliance with OAO Rosneft, BP (BP) is targeting other areas of the world to boost production and reserves.

Europe's second-largest oil company plans to acquire a 30 percent stake in each of the Reliance blocks, including KG-D6 off India's east coast, the nation's biggest gas deposit, where output has fallen because of technical difficulties at the reservoir, Bloomberg reported.

Production at the KG-D6 field has been in decline because of technical difficulties encountered by Reliance, prompting the company to seek out the technological expertise of a Western partner such as BP. Reliance has already received $2 billion from BP and the balance is expected to be paid by the end of March 2012.