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Photo: Yuriko Nakao/Getty Images

BP announced Monday a deal to sell its petrochemicals division to the U.K.-based multinational chemical company Ineos in a $5 billion transaction.

Why it matters: It's the latest move in the oil-and-gas giant's strategic overhaul, which includes selling its Alaskan assets and a pledge to reorient its business around low-carbon goals — a transition that will unfold over decades.

  • "The move to bolster its finances comes as the energy sector takes a significant financial hit triggered by the coronavirus pandemic," the Financial Times notes.
  • BP said it has now met its target of $15 billion in asset sales a year ahead of schedule.

What they're saying: BP CEO Bernard Looney said the petrochemicals business has "limited" strategic overlap with the rest of BP, and that "it would take considerable capital for us to grow these businesses."

  • "As we work to build a more focused, more integrated BP, we have other opportunities that are more aligned with our future direction," he said in a statement.

Where it stands: BP's petrochemicals division is focused on products called aromatics and acetyls, which are used in packaging, paint, adhesives and many other applications.

  • The business spans manufacturing plants in Asia, Europe and the U.S. and last year produced 9.7 million metric tons of petrochemicals, BP said.
  • The deal also includes sale of BP's Infinia plastics recycling technology and its interest in the acetylated wood developer Tricoya.
  • The companies hope to complete the transaction by the end of this year.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Sep 16, 2020 - Energy & Environment

BP outlines the path for coal in annual outlook

Data: BP Energy Outlook; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The biggest takeaway from BP's annual long-term outlook was about peak oil demand, but there are other interesting points in the report as well— including its take on coal's future.

Why it matters: While global consumption is already heading downward, the slope of the decline absent much stronger policies is nowhere near consistent with holding the temperature rise in check.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
28 seconds ago - Politics & Policy

America is anxious, angry and heavily armed

Data: FBI; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Firearms background checks in the U.S. hit a record high in 2020.

The big picture: This past year took our collective arsenal to new heights, with millions of Americans buying guns for the first time. That trend coincides with a moment of peak political and social tension.

Mike Allen, author of AM
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

America on borrowed time

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Economic recovery will not be linear as the world continues to grapple with the uncertainty of the pandemic.

Why it matters: Despite being propped up by an extraordinary amount of fiscal stimulus and support from central banks, the state of the global economy remains fragile.

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