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ConocoPhillips to Quit Indonesia, Focus on Australia

Deals follow move to increase investment in US shale and exit Canada’s oil sands, US offshore production and British North Sea fields

Emissions rise in the sky from a Conoco-Phillips oil refinery in San Pedro, California. Photo: Reuters.
Satellite data identified the US, Russia and Turkmenistan as the worst methane emitters.


US oil and gas producer ConocoPhillips will quit Indonesia, selling its assets there for just over $1.35 billion to domestic energy company Medco Energi Internasional and beef up in Australia as it continues to restructure.

The deals follow ConocoPhillips move to increase its investment in US shale with a $9.5 billion purchase of Royal Dutch Shell’s West Texas properties and a $13.3 billion deal for Concho Resources.

The company has exited Canada’s oil sands, US offshore production and British North Sea fields.

ConocoPhillips, the largest US independent oil producer said it would sell a subsidiary that indirectly owns a 54% stake in the Indonesia Corridor Block Production Sharing Contract.

Pre-Empting Private Equity

At the same time, ConocoPhillips said it was exercising its right to buy up to an additional 10% stake in Australia Pacific LNG from Origin Energy for up to $1.645 billion, pre-empting an offer from private equity firm EIG Partners for that stake.

“The Asia Pacific region plays an important role in our diversification,” ConocoPhillips CEO Ryan Lance said in a statement.

Like other oil majors, ConocoPhillips’ capital investment as a percentage of sales in 2021 looks set to come in at its lowest level since 2005.

“Spending at BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ENI, ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell and TotalEnergies is expected by analysts to represent just 6.3% of sales this year and is way down from the 13.1% peak of 2015,” Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell in London, said.

“Moreover, that figure will feature spending on renewables and alternative sources of energy, so the percentage of sales being spent on finding more oil and gas is likely to be lower than the actual headline numbers,” Mould added.


  • Reuters with additional editing George Russell




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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.


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