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Hess completes sale of Caspian assets

March 29, 2013 at 6:23 AM

NEW YORK, March 29 (UPI) -- Hess Corp. said it sold its interests in the giant Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli complex in the Caspian Sea.

Hess said it closed a deal to sell its 2.72 percent interest in ACG and its 2.36 percent stake in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline to Indian energy company ONGC Videsh Ltd. for $1 billion. The deal was announced last year.

Chairman John Hess said some of the proceeds would help pay off short-term debt.

"This sale is another step in the execution of our strategy to become a more focused, higher growth, lower risk pure play exploration and production company," he said in a statement.

Hess in January said it was evolving into an exploration and production company as it leaves the refining business by closing a New Jersey facility.

ACG, operated by BP and one of the world's largest oil complexes, is producing about 700,000 barrels of crude oil per day. BTC services Caspian oil producers by delivering about 1 million bpd to the Turkish port of Ceyhan on the Mediterranean coast.

State-owned ONGC Videsh said the acquisition marks its entry into the oil-rich waters of Azerbaijan and is in line with ambitions to add lucrative plays to its exploration and production portfolio.

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