BP’s plans to sell
$7.9B of deepwater oilfields in the Gulf of Mexico is paving the way for a big influx of Asian-Pacific cash
into offshore U.S. energy exploration. China's Sinopec (SNP
) and Australia's BHP
are among prime candidates as they have deeper pockets than many Western firms, analysts say, and could pre-empt the U.S. and European explorers that have long dominated Gulf drilling.