09 February 2012, Sweetcrude, HOUSTON – ConocoPhillips, an integrated energy company with assets of approximately $75 billion in 49 countries, is in the process of selling its assets in Nigeria and four other countries.
The other countries are Libya, Algeria, Vietnam and Kazakhstan.
The asset sale is valued at $17 billion and the company requires the fund to boost shareholder returns with share buybacks and higher dividends.
Reports said the announcement was made at the recent annual analyst meeting, and may include exits from the countries as part of planned asset divestment, although exact details were not released.
Phil Weiss, an oil analyst from Argus, was at a meeting with Conoco’s chief financial officer and head of investor relations, and confirmed that “Selective country exits are possible. Candidates would be Nigeria, Vietnam, Libya, Algeria and Kazakhstan.”
In Nigeria, Conoco produces about 20,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil, and 141 million cubic feet of natural gas.
It owns four onshore mining leases (OMLs), one deep-water oil prospecting lease (OPL) and one deep-water offshore mining lease.
It also owns part of a gas-fired combined cycle power plant, and a 20% stake in the Brass River crude oil field.
In Libya, Conoco owns 16.3% of the Waha concessions, which averaged 46,000 bpd of oil last year.
The company’s assets in Kazakhstan includes 8.4% of the North Caspian Sea Production Sharing Agreement which is expected to go into production this year.
In 2010, British Gas also threatened to pull out of Nigeria despite its investment of over $500 million in exploration activities, citing the turbulent nature of the country’s oil and gas sector.
ConocoPhillips employ 56,000 people in 49 countries.