Hess transforming to E&P company

Jan. 29, 2013 at 6:54 AM

NEW YORK, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Hess Corp. said it was evolving into an exploration and production company as it leaves the refining business by closing a New Jersey facility.

"By closing the Port Reading refinery and selling our terminal network, Hess will complete its transformation from an integrated oil and gas company to one that is predominantly an exploration and production company and be able to redeploy substantial additional capital to fund its future growth opportunities," John Hess, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

Hess said its East Coast refinery network can store 28 million barrels of oil. Twelve of its 19 terminals have deep-water access. It added that it was including a storage terminal in the Caribbean as part of its divestment package.

Hess said the move could release around $1 billion for future growth opportunities.

Hess this month said it was setting aside about 40 percent of its $6.8 billion exploratory budget for the year on unconventional shale resource projects in the United States.

Hess said it plans to operate 14 rigs in the Bakken play this year. Additional U.S. investments were designated for appraisal wells in the Utica shale play in Ohio.

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