Talisman, Statoil Sale of Texas Venture Said to End

Talisman Energy Inc. (TLM) and Statoil ASA (STL)’s effort to sell their joint venture in Texas’s Eagle Ford basin has ended after offers came in lower than expected, people familiar with the matter said.

The companies were seeking as much as $4 billion for the 50-50 partnership, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is not public. The sale was expected to draw interest from large exploration companies that are seeking to acquire oil-producing properties, a person with knowledge of the matter said in May.

Bids fell short in part because the venture produces especially light condensate, or ultralight oil, two people said. Some producers don’t want condensate because it is worth less than crude oil.

Brent Anderson, a spokesman for Talisman, declined to comment as did Bjorn Otto Sverdrup, a spokesman for Statoil.

Talisman said in March it plans to sell $2 billion of assets in 18 months, as it invests in a smaller number of key areas. It announced plans this month to sell operations in Australia.

Statoil, based in Stavanger, Norway, last year took over operations of the eastern part of the joint venture, which produces 27,700 barrels of oil equivalent per day, according to its 2013 annual report.

Talisman last year solicited offers for its half of the Eagle Ford operation but couldn’t find a buyer in part because Statoil wasn’t ready to sell, people familiar with the matter said in May.

To contact the reporters on this story: Matthew Monks in New York at mmonks1@bloomberg.net; Scott Deveau in Toronto at sdeveau2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Mohammed Hadi at mhadi1@bloomberg.net Tina Davis

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