CEO: Oman Oil in Talks with Oxy to Buy Stake in Local Assets
MUSCAT, Oct 21 (Reuters) – Oman Oil Co. is in talks with Occidental Petroleum Corp to buy a minority stake in its assets in the Gulf Arab sultanate, the Omani firm's chief executive said on Tuesday.
"We are now in negotiations with Occidental to buy their assets here in the sultanate," CEO Isam al-Zadjali told reporters on the sidelines of an energy conference in Muscat.
"Now we are waiting for them to specify what exactly do they want from this deal. We are ready to buy the assets."
Zadjali later said that Oman Oil is "looking to buy a minority shares in Oxy's assets in Oman, not the whole assets."
Occidental's planned sale fits a trend of U.S. oil companies disposing of assets elsewhere in the world in order to tilt strategy towards the shale gas boom in North America.
ConocoPhillips COP.N is offloading assets in Kazakhstan, Algeria and Nigeria in deals generating around $9 billion in total.
Occidental had said in October last year that it planned to sell a minority stake in its Middle East and North African operations as part of a restructuring programme to lift its valuation.
Reuters had reported last year that three state-owned Gulf firms, Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Development Co, Qatar Petroleum and Oman Oil, were considering a joint bid for the unit, in a deal that could be worth between $8 billion and $10 billion.
(Reporting by Fatma Al Arimi; Writing by Rania El Gamal; Editing by David French and William Hardy)
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