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BP Amoco Hopes for Arco Approval in Two Weeks
LONDON — Oil giant BP Amoco Plc said on Thursday it hoped for approval from U.S. regulators for its purchase of Atlantic Richfield Co "within two weeks."

BP Amoco Chief Executive John Browne said in a webcast that BP Amoco still hoped for $1 billion of cash savings from the Arco deal after the sale of Arco Alaskan oil assets to Phillips Petroleum Corp, and said integration of Arco should be completed by October.

Browne also said BP Amoco plans a rolling program of share buy-backs in the U.S. and UK markets, beginning in early May. Browne said he could not comment further on the buy-back.

Phillips Petroleum earlier agreed to buy Arco's Alaskan oil and natural gas reserves from BP for $7 billion, prompting the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to adjourn its anti-trust case against the British oil company.

Browne said BP Amoco had also agreed to sell Arco's interest in the Cushing, Oklahoma, storage terminal and pipeline interests to TEPPCO Partners of Houston for $355 million.

"With these major disposals we believe we have addressed the anti-trust concerns of the FTC," Browne said.

He said BP Amoco also planned to offer $71 per share for the 18 percent of Vastar Resources Inc which Arco does not already own. Vastar is one of the largest independent oil and gas producers in the U.S.

Browne said cost savings from the Arco merger were now expected to be better than when the deal was originally announced in April 1999, when some $200 million of the $1 billion in savings had been expected to be come from Alaska.

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