Petronas in Talks to Sell More Stake in Canadian LNG Project

Petroliam Nasional Bhd., Malaysia’s state oil company, said it’s in talks to sell an additional stake in a Canadian gas project.

Petronas may sell as much as a 12 percent in the proposed liquefied natural gas facility in British Columbia, Chief Executive Officer Shamsul Azhar Abbas told reporters in Kuala Lumpur. Discussions are on with at least three parties, he said.

“We are in no hurry to sell,” Shamsul said. “We will take our time. If the price is right we’ll sell it.”

Petronas, which began a review of its assets four years ago, last month cut its stake in the Canadian project to 62 percent, having concluded deals with buyers from China, India, Brunei and Japan. It’s also looking to sell stakes in exploration and production projects in Vietnam and last month said it would proceed with a $27 billion investment in a refining and petrochemicals project in the southern state of Johor, bordering Singapore.

The company said today first-quarter net income fell 8 percent to 16.2 billion ringgit ($5 billion) in the three months through March, from 17.6 billion ringgit a year earlier. Revenue increased 9.6 percent to 84 billion ringgit.

The drop in first-quarter profit was due to increased operating costs after the company booked impairment expenses mainly in Egypt, Petronas said. It also incurred costs for LNG imports at a new regasification terminal in Malaysia, the company said.

Total production rose to 2.26 million barrels a day of oil equivalent in the first quarter from 2.16 million a year ago, the company said. Oil in New York trading averaged $98.61 a barrel during the three-month period, compared with $94.36 a year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Petronas has $1.5 billion of dollar-denominated Islamic bonds maturing August this year and another $625 million debt due in 2015, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company will redeem the papers due this year and doesn’t plan to refinance them, Chief Financial Officer George Ratilal said.

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