Report: Conoco Asset Sales Could Reach $20B

EnergyReuters

The total amount of assets U.S. oil company ConocoPhillips sells as part of its plan to shed less-desirable properties may rise to $20 billion, or double the amount originally projected, Deutsche Bank said.

"Even if Libya and Algeria are now hard to sell, there are still relatively low equity ownership, non-operated asset stakes such as Kashagan (in Kazakhstan), Azerbaijan and Western Canada that can be sold above and beyond current disposal plans," Deutsche Bank said in a research note released to media on Monday.

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The additional sales will take place by year-end 2012, the analysts said.

Deutsche Bank also raised its price target on Conoco to $90 per share from $82 per share, saying a bigger asset sale program would add to earnings.

Conoco will discuss its asset disposition plan at an analyst meeting scheduled for Wednesday, a representative of the company said.

Conoco has a minority interest in the Kashagan Field in the Caspian Sea and a pipeline in the region. In Western Canada, Conoco has oil and gas properties throughout Alberta, northeastern British Columbia and southern Saskatchewan.

In late 2009, Houston-based Conoco announced a two-year plan to cut its debt with asset sales. At the end of 2010, the company had raised $7 billion from property sales, according to its annual filing with U.S. regulators.

Shares of Conoco climbed 3.3 percent to $77.85 in afternoon trading on Monday.

(Reporting by Anna Driver, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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