* To sell stake in JV with Lukoil
* To recognize after-tax gain of about $400 mln
* Could also sell 50 pct stake in JV with Rosneft - analyst
By Swetha Gopinath and Thyagaraju Adinarayan
Aug 22 ConocoPhillips said it will sell
a 30 percent interest in a joint venture to partner Lukoil
, nearly exiting Russia after more than two decades.
Conoco is left only with half of the Polar Lights joint
venture (JV) with Russia's top oil producer, Rosneft,
which contributed just 6 million barrels oil equivalent per day
to its production in 2011.
Conoco was likely to get out of that venture too, said
Morningstar analyst Allen Good, but Conoco declined comment on
the future of that project.
"The company has an ongoing disposition program of
non-strategic assets, and we continue to evaluate our portfolio
on an ongoing basis," Conoco spokesman John McLemore said in an
Conoco last year divested its stake in Lukoil, Russia's No.2
crude producer, for $9.5 billion.
The Houston-based company said on Wednesday it was selling
its indirect stake in the NaryanMarNefteGaz JV with Lukoil as
part of its asset sale program.
Conoco has sold more than $20 billion in assets this year,
topping a target set for sales of $15 billion to $20 billion.
Conoco said it expects to recognize an after-tax gain of
about $400 million from the sale.
The NaryanMarNefteGaz JV was formed in 2004 to develop oil
and natural gas resources in Timan-Pechora province, on Russia's
northern coast. It holds seven licenses and is producing from
Russian assets are no longer as strategic to Conoco as the
company is looking to focus on the United States, Good said.
Russia is seeing a decline in oil output in its West Siberian
Shares of Conoco were down slightly at $56.60 in morning
trade on the New York Stock Exchange.