ConocoPhillips Plans Sale of Oil Stakes Off Vietnam Coast

May 11, 2011. ConocoPhillips (COP), the third-largest U.S. oil company, said it plans to sell its stake in three oil and natural gas assets off Vietnam’s coast.

The Houston-based company plans $ 5 billion to $ 10 billion in asset sales over 2011 and 2012 as it seeks cash to fund share buybacks and growth. ConocoPhillips sold about $ 7 billion in assets last year through a program announced in 2009 and intended in part to help reduce debt. The company expanded the total sales target earlier this year to as much as $ 17 billion.

The company is marketing its assets in Vietnam as part of the divestiture program, McLemore said in an e-mail yesterday. ConocoPhillips’s Vietnam assets are valued at about $1.5 billion, Paul Sankey, a Deutsche Bank AG analyst, said in an April 27 note to clients.

ConocoPhillips holds a 23.3 percent stake in a cluster of five fields in Block 15-1 in the Cuu Long Basin, according to data on the Vietnam page of its website. It has a 36 percent share of the Rang Dong field in Block 15-2, also in the basin. The fields produced 32,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day on average in 2009, the data show.

The company also is offering its 16.3 percent stake in the Nam Con Son gas pipeline, a 700 million cubic-feet-a-day link that connects the Nam Con Son Basin with southern Vietnam.

PetroVietnam has a 50 percent stake in Block 15-1, with ConocoPhillips, Korea National Oil Corp., SK Corp. and Geopetrol holding the rest, according to the U.S. company’s website.

Japan Vietnam Petroleum Co. has a 46.5 percent share of Rang Dong field, while PetroVietnam holds a 17.5 percent stake. ConocoPhillips owns the rest, data from the website show.

The Vietnamese state oil company has a 51% stake in the Nam Con Son pipeline. BP Plc (BP/) in October agreed to sell its 32.7 percent stake in the pipeline to Moscow-based TNK-BP. ConocoPhillips owns the remaining share.

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