ConocoPhillips sells stake in joint venture with Rosneft, exits Russia

December 22, 2015 | Asset Acquisitions & Divestitures, Eastern Europe & Russia

Moscow, Russia  | – U.S. multinational oil and natural gas producer ConocoPhillips has sold its 50 per cent stake in a joint venture with Russian state oil company Rosneft, a ConocoPhillips spokesman said.

ConocoPhillips’ decision to exit from Russia after more than 25 years highlights the challenges facing foreign investors in country’s energy sector.  The exit from Russia comes about five years after ConocoPhillips sold its biggest sole asset in Russia, a stake in Lukoil, for $9.5-billion.

ConocoPhillips was left with the Polar Lights JV in Russia after it sold a 30 per cent interest in another joint venture to partner Lukoil in 2012.

The Financial Times reported the stake sale on Tuesday.

ConocoPhillips spokesman Kris Sava said the company sold its stake to Trisonnery Asset Ltd.

Rosneft also sold its stake in the Polar Lights joint venture last week, in a deal that valued the business at about $150-million-$200-million, the FT reported citing a person with knowledge of the matter.

The joint venture had been bought by a company owned by the Khotin family in Russia, the FT reported, citing a person familiar with the deal.

Total oil production at the Polar Lights JV has been falling, and was at 8,200 barrels per day last year. This represents 0.5 per cent of 1.5 million barrels of oil equivalent per day in total production reported by ConocoPhillips that year.