Lukoil Shelves $1.8 Billion U.S. Shale Deal After Gas Slumps
OAO Lukoil, Russia’s second-largest oil producer, shelved a plan to make a $1.8 billion shale acquisition in the U.S. because of slumping natural-gas prices.
The producer backed away from the plan because it didn’t offer an acceptable return, Deputy Chief Executive Officer Leonid Fedun said. U.S. natural-gas prices slumped 55 percent between June and January. Lukoil had set aside $1.8 billion for the deal, according to the company.
“We examined this project in detail and had to suspend its development on valuation,” Fedun said in an interview in London today. “We’re not ready to complete it.”
Drillers including Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK), the second- largest U.S. gas producer, have cut back production at shale fields after increased supply and milder-than-usual winter weather sent prices crashing. The number of gas-drilling rigs working in the U.S. is at a three-year low.
Fedun said Lukoil is looking at a plan to sell shares in Hong Kong and Shanghai next year, without saying how much it hopes to raise.
To contact the reporter on this story: Eduard Gismatullin in London at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at email@example.com
Bloomberg moderates all comments. Comments that are abusive or off-topic will not be posted to the site. Excessively long comments may be moderated as well. Bloomberg cannot facilitate requests to remove comments or explain individual moderation decisions.