By Houston Business Journal

Apache Corp. has agreed to purchase all of BP Plc's oil and gas operations, acreage and infrastructure in the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico and Egypt's Western Desert in a deal valued at $7 billion.

Houston-based Apache (NYSE: APA) also will acquire substantially all of the London oil giant's upstream natural gas business in western Alberta and British Columbia.

The assets have an estimated proved reserves of 385 million barrels of oil equivalent. The transaction, which has yet to close but has an effective date of July 1, also adds 2.4 million net acres to Apache's global portfolio.

"This is a rare opportunity to acquire legacy positions from a major oil company, with oil and gas production, acreage, infrastructure, seismic data, field studies, exploration prospects and other essential aspects of our business," said G. Steven Farris, Apache's chairman and chief executive officer. "We seldom have an opportunity like this in one of our core areas let alone three."

There was talk earlier this month that Apache was buying certain BP assets, including its stake in Alaskaâ¿¿s Prudhoe Bay oil field. Then on July 19, there were reports that negotiations regarding the Alaskan assets had stalled. The deal that Apache confirmed Tuesday did not include those Alaskan assets.

As a part of the acquisition, Apache said it will advance $5 billion of the purchase price to BP on July 30, that will be applied to the purchase price at the time of closing. Financing for the acquisition will come in a combination of debt and equity securities as well as cash on hand. Apache has also obtained a $5 billion bridge loan facility to backstop any financing requirements.

Earlier on Tuesday, it was reported that BP also plans to sell some assets in Vietnam and Pakistan to help pay for its $20 billion Gulf spill relief fund.

In June, BP (NYSE: BP) said it would try to sell $10 billion in assets over the next year to help pay for the spill. So far the company has spent nearly $4 billion on spill cleanup.

In a separate announcement Tuesday, Apache also said it would a public offering of 21 million shares and a separate public offering of $1.1 billion mandatory convertible preferred stock consisting of 22 million depositary shares.

Underwriters will get up to 3.15 million shares and up to 3.3 million additional depositary shares to cover any over-allotments.

Goldman, Sachs & Co., BofA Merrill Lynch, Citi and J.P. Morgan will act as joint book-running managers for the offerings.

Copyright 2010 American City Business Journals

Copyright 2010