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Sasol Considers Sale of Gas Assets in Papua New Guinea

Sasol Ltd., the world’s largest maker of fuel from coal, is studying the sale of its gas assets in Papua New Guinea.

“Sasol is considering divesting from Papua New Guinea,” Alex Anderson, a company spokesman, said in an e-mailed response to questions. “We are currently engaging interested parties.” The Johannesburg-based company started exploring for natural gas in Papua New Guinea during 2008.

Sasol is also in discussions to sell its 50 percent stake in Iranian unit Arya Sasol Polymer Co. which it co-owns with Pars Petrochemical Co. of Iran, a unit of National Petrochemical. Sasol wrote down the unit’s value by 1.97 billion rand ($215 million) for the six months through December.

The company spent 14.4 billion rand on capital investments in the first six months of its fiscal year through December, according to company filings. Cash from operating activities decreased to 21.4 billion rand in the half year from 22.7 billion rand a year earlier.

“Sasol is in the process of running many mega-projects, especially in the U.S., where the expected cost and implementation thereof remain uncertain,” Jacques Theron, portfolio manager at Absa Asset Management Private Clients, said by phone from Johannesburg.

The shares rose 0.9 percent to 393.99 rand by 12:02 p.m. in Johannesburg.

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