Newfield says rig gear failure may delay China divestment plans

Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:29am EDT

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Aug 14 (Reuters) - U.S. oil and gas producer Newfield Exploration said the sale of its offshore China properties could be delayed after an equipment failure suspended installation of an oil platform.

Woodlands, Texas-based Newfield said in February it was seeking to sell its interests in Chinese and Malaysian fields as it invests more in profitable projects close to home.

The malfunction of a hydraulic jacking system, used to force oil through pipes, stopped the installation of the topside at the LF-7 field in the Pearl River Mouth basin, the company said. ()

The topside in an offshore rig holds facilities such as water treatment and power generation to process oil and gas.

The company said last month it expected oil output from the Pearl field to start in late 2013 to early 2014.

Costs and timing for reinstallation of the topside was uncertain, Newfield said, adding that the installation was being managed by a third-party contractor. Newfield did not name the contractor.

The incident does not affect the sale of its Malaysian oilfield development business, which is expected to close in late 2013 or early 2014, the company said.

In June, Reuters reported that Newfield's international assets have an estimated value of about $1 billion, based on production and reserve data, citing sources.

In the United States, Newfield drills for oil, natural gas and liquids in Mid-Continent, the Rocky Mountains and onshore Texas.

Shares of Newfield, which has a market value of about $3 billion, closed at $24.48 on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

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