Oando Buys ConocoPhillips Nigerian Unit for $1.79 Billion

Oando Energy Resources Inc., which listed on the Toronto stock exchange in July, agreed to buy ConocoPhillips’ Nigerian unit for about $1.79 billion in cash.

The purchase includes assets that produced the equivalent of about 43,000 barrels of oil a day between January and October, Oando said in a statement from Calgary today. The transaction also brings about 213 million barrels of oil equivalent of proved and probable reserves, the company said.

ConocoPhillips’ Nigeria holdings include interests in oil-mining leases, the proposed Brass LNG project and stakes in offshore prospects. The sale is the latest divestiture by ConocoPhillips, which has been selling assets to raise cash for spending plans and focus on more profitable businesses. Oando said the purchase supports its goal of becoming a top explorer and producer in Nigeria.

“This potential transaction represents a transformational step forward for our company,” Pade Durotoye, chief executive officer of Oando, said in the statement.

The transaction is expected to close by mid-2013, Houston-based ConocoPhillips said in a statement today. It will mark the company’s exit from the African nation.

ConocoPhillips said Dec. 18 it was selling Algerian assets to PT Pertamina, Indonesia’s state-owned oil company, for $1.75 billion. The company had previously targeted $8 billion to $10 billion in asset sales during 2012 and 2013. The Nigeria sale brings the total of announced sales during 2012 to about $11 billion.

The statements were released after regular trading ended in North America. ConocoPhillips, the largest U.S. independent oil and natural gas producer by market value, was unchanged at $59.28 at 5:12 p.m. in New York. Oando fell 0.7 percent to close at C$1.49 in Toronto.

Independent oil companies don’t own refineries or operate chemical businesses.