PT Pertima Buys ConocoPhillips Algerian Oil Stakes For $1.75 Billion

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VENTURES AFRICA – Indonesia’s state-owned oil company PT Pertima has concluded a $1.75 billion deal to buy stakes in three Algerian oil fields from US company ConocoPhillips.

The acquisition is expected to be completed by mid-2013, dependent on approval being granted by the Algerian government, and will also require approval from various of ConocoPhillips’ partners.

The sale pertains to a 16.9 per cent stake of EMK, a 3.7 percent share of Ourhoud, with the largest stake being 65 per cent of Menzel Lejmat North.

ConocoPhillips claims that the total output of the three fields reaches approximately 11,000 barrels per day (bpd).

The transaction sees Pertima move to diversify its assets and expand abroad, as Indonesia’s oil fields mature and output dwindles. The producer is thus looking to boost its operations overseas primarily, although it continues production in Indonesia – the most recent estimate naming the government-owned entity the second-largest producer in Indonesia, after a unit of Chevron Corp.

Pertima recently agreed the $725 million cash acquisition of Venezuelan assets owned by Harvest Natural Resources Inc.; and had been in negotiations with US-based Coastal Energy Co. until last month when the deal fell through as the parties failed to agree a purchase price.

Meanwhile, behind the sales on the part of ConocoPhillips is an internal strategy according to which the company is divesting of several assets amidst efforts to raise capital in order to invest in more profitable businesses.

Including the current sale to Pertima, ConocoPhillips has raised $9 billion through its asset sales strategy, thus reaching its target amount of between $8 billion and $10 billion.

“The sale of our Algerian business unit represents another important step in transforming ConocoPhillips’ asset base, and advances the strategic interests of both Pertima and ConocoPhillips,” executive vice president of corporate planning Don Wallette commented on the deal.