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ConocoPhillips May Exit Nigeria, Libya, Vietnam, Algeria and Kazakhstan

ConocoPhillips is an integrated energy company with assets of approximately $75 billion, and employs 56,000 people across 49 countries. They have recently announced plans to sell assets in Nigeria, Libya and three other countries up to the value of $17 billion. It is thought that the funds will be used as part of a plan to boost shareholder returns with share buybacks and higher dividends.

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 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. Nigerian output totalled 20,000 barrels per day (BPD) of crude oil, and 141 million cubic feet of natural gas.

In Libya Conoco owns 16.3% of the Waha concessions, which averaged 46,000 bpd of oil last year.

In Kazakhstan Conoco owns 8.4% of the North Caspian Sea Production Sharing Agreement which is expected to go into production this year.

The announcement was made at the annual analyst meeting, and may include exits from the countries as part of planned asset divestment, although exact details were not released.

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. Nigeria will face difficult times if more oil companies start to move away from the country due to its inability to stabilise its energy sector.

By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com



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