BP announced the intention of selling its interests in UK

(BP) -- BP announced today the intention of selling its interests in a number of operated oil and gas fields in the UK. The assets involved are the Wytch Farm onshore oilfield in Dorset and all of BP's operated gas fields in the Southern North Sea, including associated pipeline infrastructure and the Dimlington terminal.

BP anticipates that the staff currently working on these assets will transfer employment to the new buyer when the divestments are completed.

These divestments will allow BP to focus resources and investment on its diverse central North Sea, northern North Sea, West of Shetland and Norway assets and on successful delivery of its new major projects.

BP aims to complete the divestments around the end of 2011, subject to receipt of suitable offers and regulatory and third party approvals.


Australian Amcor transformed' by Alcan and Ball takeovers

(Food Production Daily) -- Amcor said its profits soared 55 per cent to ┬197m (A$267m) in the six months ending 31 December thanks to significant savings in the wake of the Alcan takeover and steady sales volumes.

The Australia-based packaging giant said it managed to post the positive results despite rising raw material costs, the negative impact from a stronger Australian dollar and an estimated A$20m bill after its domestic packaging distribution operations were hit by the devastating floods in Brisbane, Queensland.

The firm said it had closed three flexible packaging sites during the period and cautioned other facilities would follow later in the year.

Amcor highlighted synergies resulting from plant closures, a reduction in overheads and procurement economies as saving the company ┬37.6m (A$51m) in H1 and promised more was to come in the second half of the year.

The flexible business had also been hit by rising raw material costs - with PET film prices alone soaring by 80 per cent during the period, particularly in Q2. The company said it was passing on price rises to its customers but that the lag in this taking effect had cost it ┬14m in H1, with a similar amount forecast for the second half of the year.


Naphtha and aromatics prices in Asia surged on Tuesday

(ICIS) -- Naphtha and aromatics prices in Asia surged on Tuesday as global crude futures continued to spike on concerns of supply disruption amid the ongoing political unrest in Libya. At 09:26 GMT, light sweet crude for March delivery was trading at $94.02/bbl, up $7.82/bbl from Friday's close since the US market was closed for a holiday on Monday, while BRENT was up $1.92/bbl at $107.66/bbl. Crude futures were trading close to their highest levels seen since late 2008.

Asian naphtha prices surged to the highest levels since August 2008 at $926-928/tonne CFR (cost &freight) Japan on Tuesday, fired up by soaring global crude futures.

Traders in Asia earlier said prices were rising on reports that a Libyan port was closed. However, a shipping source in Libya told ICIS that ports were not closed though telecommunications were down and contact between agents and ships was through electronic mail.


Specialty chemicals distributor Azelis to acquire specialist supplier S&D Group Ltd

(Azelis) -- Azelis, the leading pan-European specialty chemicals distributor, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire S&D Group Limited, a leading specialist supplier of raw materials and ingredients to the pharmaceutical, food, personal care and performance chemicals industries.

The acquisition of S&D Group is strategically important as it will significantly strengthen the Azelis Life Science business (Pharma, Food & Health and Personal Care), both in terms of portfolio coverage as well as geographic spread.

Excluded from the acquisition are those S&D companies involved in the pharmaceutical finished dosage (S&D Pharma), chemical synthesis and laboratory supply markets (Chemgo), as well as part of its personal care actives business (S&D Chesham GmbH and ProTec Ingredia), - these entities will retain their original ownership.

The completion of the acquisition is subject to cartel clearance and is expected to close within the first quarter.


SABIC subject to anti dumping investigation in European market

(Arabian Oil and Gas) -- Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) is again subject to anti dumping investigation in European market on its polyethylene terephthalate (PET) products, after being subject to ADD on polypropylene in India, SABIC said in statement.

⌠The European Commission has, on Wednesday 16th February 2011, following a complaint by the Committee of PET Manufacturers in Europe, initiated anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations with respect to imports of PET originating in or exported from Oman and Saudi Arabia, SABIC said in email to Arabianoilandgas.com.

⌠SABIC and its affiliated company Ibn Rushd (Ibn Rushd) are studying the complaint and will coordinate with the Saudi Government, in preparing their response. SABIC and Ibn Rushd will cooperate fully with the European Commission investigation, it added.

⌠As one of the world's foremost petrochemical companies, SABIC and Ibn Rushd are committed to complying with their obligations under international laws and treaties, including those with which the investigation is concerned, SABIC added.