ConocoPhillips to Quit Caspian Sea Venture

ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP  ) announced today that it plans to sell its 8.4% interest in a north Caspian Sea production sharing agreement in Kazakhstan's sector of the Caspian Sea. The area includes the Kashagan Field.

ConocoPhillips expects to generate approximately $5 billion from the sale, a key move in the energy company's divestment strategy. ONGC Videsh Limited, the international arm of India's national oil company, Oil and Natural Gas Corp., will acquire ConocoPhillip's interest.

"The sale of this quality asset is an important component of our ongoing strategic asset disposition program," said Don Wallette, a ConocoPhillips executive vice president. "We are pleased that ONGC Videsh recognizes the value of this asset."

To balance the assets' previously recorded value of $5.5 billion, ConocoPhillips projects a $400 million writedown for the fourth quarter of 2012. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2013. This newest announcement brings the company's two-year disposition total to approximately $7 billion, the equivalent of 4.5% of ConocoPhillip's total assets in FY 2011. 

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