A Closer Look at BP's Big Growth Hopes

LONDON -- BP  (LSE: BP  ) (NYSE: BP  ) has sold almost $38 billion of assets since 2010, in order to deal with the consequences of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Although this would have destroyed most companies, BP's size and strong balance sheet has enabled it not only to cope, but also to deliver major new oil and gas projects.

Today, I'm going to focus on three of BP's biggest growth hopes for the next decade -- projects the company hopes will help to fund its desirable 5% dividend yield.

Russian potential
One of the strengths of BP's TNK-BP stake was that it provided the firm with a rich stream of dividends. BP will be hoping that the 19.75% interest it now holds in Rosneft will be similarly rewarding.

Rosneft's dividend payout for 2012 will be £1.8 billion. BP's 19.75% share of this equates to 1.8 pence per BP share, and the payout is expected to grow over the next few years, as Rosneft's production output rises.

BP's stake in Rosneft could also make it the firm's preferred partner for new joint ventures in Russia -- which could include oil-rich areas of the Arctic.

Angolan profits
In January, production started at BP's PSVM offshore development in Angola. Initial production is expected to be 70,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd), but production is expected to reach 150,000 bopd by 2014.

Although it has cost £9 billion, the PSVM development is expected to have very high profit margins. Deutsche Bank has estimated that BP could make a profit of around $40 per barrel from PSVM, equivalent to $6 million per day, if production reaches 150,000 bopd.

North Sea growth
BP remains very active in the North Sea and, since December, production has started from both its Skarv and Valhall fields. BP's share of Skarv production is expected to reach around 40,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) by the end of 2013.

BP is also a leading player in the appraisal of the giant Clair field, which lies to the west of the Shetland Islands in the Atlantic.

Gulf of Mexico production
BP also remains a major player in the Gulf of Mexico, where it has net production of more than 250,000 boepd. Further growth is planned for later this year, and BP also has major projects due to come on stream in Angola, Australia and Azerbaijan, adding credibility to CEO Bob Dudley's goal of creating long-term sustainable free cash flow.

Finding growth opportunities
I believe that BP has the potential to provide a generous long-term dividend income. However, if you are looking for oil and gas shares that can provide spectacular, multibagging gains, then you will need to focus on smaller, more risky companies.

If this interests you, then I'd recommend you take a look at "How to Unearth Great Oil and Gas Shares" a special report from the Motley Fool. It contains some great tips on selecting resource shares. To get your copy, click here now -- it's completely free, but availability is limited.

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