From The Wall Street Journal

ConocoPhillips is exiting the oil exploration and production market in the U.K., the latest move by the company to refocus its portfolio.

The company said Thursday it reached a deal to sell two subsidiaries that focus on production in the U.K.’s North Sea for about $2.68 billion in cash to Chrysaor E&P Ltd.

ConocoPhillips has been divesting some of resources and focusing in part on projects in Alaska and Louisiana, as well as in Canada and Asia. In prepared remarks, ConocoPhillips Chief Executive Ryan Lance said investments would be focused “across future low cost of supply opportunities.” The company generated about $1.1 billion from selling parts of its portfolio last year.

The U.S. oil giant sold a subsidiary to BP in 2018 that holds an interest in a BP-operated oil field offshore from Scotland, though it retained a 7.5% stake in that resource. Last year the company also disposed of assets in the Barnett shale area in Texas.

Wednesday, it completed its sale of an interest in an oil resource located in the Timor Sea to the government of Timor-Leste.

“I think we’ve also had a pretty successful track record of divesting assets that don’t compete in the portfolio,” Mr. Lance told investors in January.

ConocoPhillips said Thursday it will continue operating a London-based trading business and keep its 40.25% interest in the Teesside oil terminal.

The ConocoPhillips UK subsidiaries last year produced 72,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day and had proven reserves of 99 million barrels of oil equivalent at year end, the company said.

Closely held Chrysaor was formed in 2007 and focuses on oil and gas in the North Sea. In 2017, it bought assets in the North Sea from Royal Dutch Shell PLC for $3.8 billion.

“This significant acquisition reflects our continuing belief that the U.K. North Sea has material future potential for oil and gas production,” Chrysaor Chief Executive Phil Kirk said in prepared remarks.

The sale is expected to be completed in the second half of this year.

ConocoPhillips plans to release its first-quarter financial report on April 30.

Shares in ConocoPhillips rose 0.6% in morning trading to $66.16

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