A proposed $7bn deal by BP to sell its 60% stake in South America’s Pan American Energy (PAE) has collapsed because of legal issues.

China’s offshore oil producer CNOOC and Argentina’s Bridas had agreed to purchase BP’s interest in oil and gas group PAE a year ago.

The collapse was attributed to Bridas, which failed to secure the Argentine anti-trust and Chinese regulatory approvals before 1 November this year, reports Reuters

Under the terms of the agreement, Bridas Corporation had exclusive responsibility for obtaining these approvals.

Argentina’s Bridas is half-owned by CNOOC.