* To seek strategic alternatives for international assets
* Expects $1.2 billion fourth-quarter loss
* Incurred $1.5 billion in charge as it wrote down value of
natural gas assets
Feb 13 Newfield Exploration Co said it
will seek "strategic alternatives" for its international oil and
gas holdings as it looks to focus on its U.S. business, and
forecast a big fourth-quarter loss due to a writedown of natural
The oil and gas producer said on Wednesday it incurred a
$1.5 billion writedown, primarily due to low natural gas prices
and the sale of some assets. It also took a a non-cash charge in
the quarter ended Dec. 31 for deferred income taxes of about
The Woodlands, Texas-based Newfield expects to report a net
loss of about $1.2 billion or $8.80 per share for the December
Larger rival EOG Resources Inc reported a quarterly
loss earlier on Wednesday compared with a year-ago profit, as it
wrote down the value of Canadian natural gas assets.
Newfield's international assets - primarily offshore oil and
natural gas developments in Malaysia and China - contributed
nearly 30 percent to total revenue for 2011. The segments
contributed 40 percent for the quarter ended Sept. 30.
The company had proved reserves of about 23 million barrels
of oil and natural gas liquids in Malaysia and about 20 million
barrels in China as of Dec. 31, 2011. It has a stake in about
925,000 net acres offshore Malaysia and about 290,000 net acres
Newfield said it has engaged Goldman Sachs to explore
strategic opportunities for the international assets, but gave
no other details.
"This action reflects the confidence we have in our domestic
portfolio and the substantial opportunities we see across our
liquids-rich domestic resource areas," Chief Executive Lee
Boothby said in a statement.
Separately, the company said it plans to invest $1.7 billion
to $1.9 billion in its capital budget for this year.
Production is expected to range from 44 to 47 million
barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) compared to 47 million BOE it
produced last year.