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(C)The Financial Times, London – BP said it would sell its Colombian assets to a consortium of Canada’s Talisman Energy and Colombia’s state-run Ecopetrol for $1.9bn. The deal is the latest in a string of divestitures BP has announced as it seeks to raise up to $30bn to pay for its oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Ecopetrol and Talisman said they would pay $1.9bn, including around $145m in a working capital adjustment, for all shares in BP’s Colombia subsidiary. Talisman will get a 49 per cent stake and Ecopetrol, 51 per cent.

BP will receive a cash deposit, which its local Colombian unit said would be $1.25bn.

Ecopetrol – 89 per cent state-owned – said BP’s Colombian oil and gas fields had proven and probable reserves of 94m barrels of oil equivalent and estimated 2010 production of 24,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day.

The deal includes BP’s stake in four pipelines totalling 1,600km (994 miles) of crude and 400km of gas pipelines, the companies said.

The joint venture will have BP’s stake in gas plants.

“This is completely marked out in the strategic plan, providing new reserves, production and potential areas for our exploration portfolio,” Javier Gutierrez, Ecopetrol president, said in a statement.

Ecopetrol shares on the Colombian bourse jumped 1.74 per cent after the announcement.

Ecopetrol says it plans to take on $23bn in debt and issue $6bn in shares to help fund its $80bn 2011-20 expansion plan.

Last month BP agreed to sell a bundle of assets in the US, Canada and Egypt to Apache for $7bn, and said it planned to sell its assets in Pakistan and Vietnam, which analysts estimate at $1.7bn.

Last week, BP announced a charge of $32.2bn in its second quarter related to the spill. Analysts said the final bill was likely to be much higher.