ConocoPhillips sells Nigerian business

ConocoPhillips is pulling out of Nigera and selling off its assets there  in a $1.8 billion deal with Oando PLC, a major integrated energy corporation based in the West African nation.

The Houston-based company announced Thursday that it has agreed to sell its stakes in two deep-water projects, several onshore projects and other assets. The deal is expected to close by mid-2013.

ConocoPhillips operates and has 95 percent interest in Oil Mining Lease 131, which includes 297,600 acres in the Chota Field. It also holds 20 percent interest in Oil Prospecting Lease 214, which includes 639,000 acres in the Uge Field.

Onshore, the oil giant is exiting a project with the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, in which it had a 20 percent interest in Oil Mining Leases  60-63. Conoco’s 20 percent stake in the Kwale-Okpai Independent Power Plant and 17 percent interest in the Brass LNG project also are a part of the deal.

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“This intended sale represents further progress on our asset disposition program,” said Don Wallette, Conoco’s executive vice president of commercial business development and corporate planning.

The net carrying value of the Nigerian assets is about $600 million, according to ConocoPhillips. The operations produce an average 43,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, about 60 percent natural gas, the company said.

The sale is the latest in ConocoPhillips’ multiyear effort to streamline its business. The company has announced $11 billion in asset sales during 2012, including the Nigerian interests.