The U.S. Department of Justice has asked BP ( BP) for advance notice of any planned asset sale or deal involving significant cash transfers as the British oil company seeks to raise funds to shore up its balance sheet.

The request underlines how closely the Obama administration is watching BP's every move and its interest in ensuring the company remains a going concern in the wake of the oil rig explosion that killed 11 men and continues to spew thousands of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico every day.

BP said on Tuesday night that it had not agreed or responded to a June 23 written request by Tony West, assistant U.S. attorney general, for BP to alert the DoJ to any plans that might impact the future of the company, including corporate restructuring, asset sales, or joint ventures.

"We haven't agreed to those terms," a BP spokesperson said. The DoJ declined to comment on the request, which was sent to BP's general counsel.

Given the intense pressure from the Obama administration, industry watchers say it would not be surprising for BP to agree to the request. The DoJ, which is conducting an investigation into BP's actions on the oil rig, could levy fines worth hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars against BP. It could also strip the company of drilling permits.

BP on Monday said it could meet the cost of the oil spill without issuing new shares, rejecting speculation that it was seeking a bailout from a strategic buyer.

But the company has launched an appeal for support to Middle Eastern and other international investors, arguing that its shares are good value after their near-50% fall since the April 20 rig explosion.

Tony Hayward, BP's chief executive, was on Wednesday visiting Abu Dhabi, which is home to a range of sovereign investment vehicles and one of the oil company's main partners in the Middle East.

People familiar with Hayward's visit said he was expected to meet officials in the wealthy capital of the United Arab Emirates, but his exact schedule was not clear.

Any move by BP to sell a significant stake in the company to a non-U.S. investor, including a sovereign wealth funds, could also trigger an investigation by the Committee on Foreign Investment, an executive-branch agency that investigates deals on national security grounds.

Although BP is not an American company, it could be subject to the agency's oversight because of the size of its U.S. assets and its U.S. drilling licences.

Legal experts say the Obama administration has a strong interest in making sure that BP remains a viable business as the cost of the spill mounts. Even though BP has agreed to create a $20 billion fund to compensate victims of the oil spill and pay for the clean-up, a bankruptcy filing by the company could affect its ability to settle future liabilities.

Libya's top oil officialon Monday said that his country's sovereign wealth fund should invest in BP to take advantage of the troubled company's weak share price.