Newfield CEO Seeks ’Certainty’ in U.S. Amid Planned Asian Sale

Newfield Exploration Co., which is exploring the sale of its offshore assets in Malaysia and China, said it will be able to expand production more dependably by focusing on North America.

While some larger companies prefer to keep their portfolio balanced between domestic and international assets, Newfield’s potential sales are designed as part of its shift toward onshore U.S. oil and liquids, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lee Boothby said in an interview at the Howard Weil energy conference in New Orleans yesterday.

“Frankly, because of the depth and breadth and quality of the portfolios built in North America, it becomes easy to consider going a different path,” Boothby said. “The certainty that comes with the outcomes associated with developing resource plays when you actually get into development mode -- you’ll never get that in the international conventional model.”

Newfield said on Feb. 13 it was exploring strategic alternatives for international assets, which include offshore holdings in Malaysia and China. The company has said its production focus will be onshore in North America in such areas as the Uinta, Cana Woodford, Williston and Eagle Ford.

Newfield believes its onshore North American business and its Asian offshore operation merit additional investment, and the company isn’t able to fund both in the context of its balance sheet, Boothby said.

The Woodlands, Texas-based company has estimated domestic production may rise from a range of 37 million to 40 million barrels of oil equivalent this year to as much as 57 million barrels in 2015.

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