OSLO, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Sequa Petroleum has called off a planned $602 million purchase of Norwegian offshore field interests from Wintershall, the oil and gas subsidiary of BASF, citing a poor market environment.
Sequa had agreed in June to buy, via Oslo-based Tellus Petroleum Invest A/S, interests in five fields -- 20 percent of Knarr, 15 percent of Maria, 10 percent of Yme, 6.5 percent of Ivar Aasen and 4.5 percent of Veslefrikk.
"I will not point to a specific factor, but the market situation is challenging right now for oil companies," Tellus Petroleum Chief Executive Fridtjof Jebsen told Reuters on Tuesday.
Crude prices are down nearly 70 percent over the past 18 months, leading companies to cut jobs, projects and costs to protect cash reserves.
Wintershall said in a statement it agreed to a request from Tellus Petroleum to be released from its obligations under the sales agreement but did not provide further details.
Sequa also said in light of the cancellation of its deal with Wintershall it was re-considering an agreement to buy a 0.6 percent stake in the Ivar Aasen field from Austria's OMV for 45 million Norwegian crowns ($5.2 million).
It is however pushing ahead with its purchase of a stake in the Gina Krog oilfield it agreed to buy from Total for 1.4 billion Norwegian crowns ($161 million) in October, it said, adding that it expected the transaction to close in early 2016.
($1 = 8.6926 Norwegian crowns) (Reporting by Gwladys Fouche and Nerijus Adomaitis; Additonal reporting by Maria Sheahan in Frankfurt. Editing by Jane Merriman)
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