ConocoPhillips (COP) sold its 30 percent stake in a Russian joint venture to co-owner OAO Lukoil, the latest divestment in a three-year plan to boost returns.
The sale of the indirect stake in OOO NaryanMarNefteGaz was completed for an undisclosed price, the Houston-based company said today in a statement. Although financial terms weren’t disclosed, it expects to book an after-tax gain of about $400 million from the deal.
ConocoPhillips, which once held as much as 20 percent of Lukoil, last year completed the sale of its remaining holding in Russia’s second-largest crude producer. Last month, the U.S. company said it’s on track to have $8 billion to $10 billion of asset sales by the middle of 2013.
“The sale of this non-core quality asset is an important component of our divestiture program for 2012,” said Don Wallette, executive vice president for commercial, business development, and corporate planning. “We are pleased that Lukoil, the co-owner of NMNG, recognizes the value of this asset.”
Lukoil said the deal gives it full ownership of the venture in the northern Timan Pechora region, where it plans to consolidate assets.
The venture with Lukoil was part of a strategic alliance that the companies agreed to in 2004.
In Russia, ConocoPhillips remains a 50 percent partner in the Polar Lights venture with OAO Rosneft (ROSN), the country’s largest oil producer, John McLemore, a ConocoPhillips spokesman, said by e-mail. He declined to speculate on other projects or investment opportunities in Russia.