Hess defends Russian sale to Lukoil

April 2, 2013 at 6:26 AM

NEW YORK, April 2 (UPI) -- Selling a Hess Corp. subsidiary to Russian oil company Lukoil boosts plans to transform to a full exploration and production company, Chairman John Hess said.

Hess Corp. announced it sold subsidiary Samara-Nafta to Lukoil for about $2 billion. The U.S. company estimates Samara-Nafta is producing approximately 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day from the Volga-Urals region of Russia.

"As the sale of Samara-Nafta indicates, we are making excellent progress in executing our asset sales program, which is a central component of our plan to transform Hess into a more focused, higher growth, lower risk pure play exploration and production company," Hess said.

Hess Corp. in January announced plans to transform into an exploration and production company when it closed a New Jersey refinery, marking its departure from the refining business.

Hess this year sold interests in the British waters of the North Sea and the Eagle Ford shale play in the United States. Last month, it sold off its stake in the giant Azeri-Chiraq-Guneshli complex offshore Azerbaijan.

Including the Russian sale, Hess posted $3.4 billion in after-tax proceeds.

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