ConocoPhillips agreed to sell its assets in Vietnam to a unit of French oil and natural gas company Perenco SA for roughly $1.29 billion, part of ongoing efforts to slim down its business.
The oil producer and refiner is in the midst of a three-year repositioning aimed at improving its balance sheet and making itself more attractive to investors. That plan includes the sale of $15 billion to $20 billion in assets, large-scale share buybacks and the spinoff of its refining arm, expected to be completed in the second quarter.
ConocoPhillips said its agreement with Perenco covers three wholly-owned subsidiaries that separately hold participating interests in the Nam Con Son Pipeline in Vietnam. The company had conducted business in the nation for over 15 years, according Al Hirshberg, its senior vice president for planning and strategy.
The company, the third-largest U.S. oil company by market value after Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., also noted that its asset divestiture program yielded $10.7 billion in proceeds for 2010-2011 -- in addition to $9.5 billion from sales of Lukoil Holdings shares -- bringing total dispositions during the period to $20.2 billion.
ConocoPhillips last month reported its fourth-quarter earnings rose 66% on gains on asset sales and the benefit of high oil prices.
Shares were recently off 24 cents to $72.55 in premarket trade. The stock is up 4.3% over the past three months.
Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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