January 13, 2015 / 11:05 PM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 1-Newfield retains China assets after oil drop hits sale process

(Adds details, background)

Jan 13 (Reuters) - Oil and gas producer Newfield Exploration Co said it would retain its assets in China, saying a slump in oil prices had created “headwinds” in the sale process.

The company said in early 2013 that it planned to exit its international business.

“The recent and significant pull back in global oil prices created headwinds for our China sales process... Although our intent was to monetize the asset, it was not a sale at any price,” said Chief Financial Officer Larry Massaro.

Oil prices tumbled 5 percent to near six-year lows of $45.19 on Tuesday before recovering ground.

Hong Kong-listed oil trader and shipping firm Brightoil Petroleum Holdings had held talks with Newfield to buy its China operations, sources told Reuters in February last year.

Newfield, which has offshore oil properties in China, said the assets would be reclassified as “continuing operations”.

The assets contributed about 0.3 million barrels of oil to fourth-quarter production, the company said.

The Pearl facility in south China sea is currently producing oil and would reach a peak rate in mid-2015.

Shares of the Houston-based company closed down marginally at $22.90 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Up to Tuesday’s close, the stock had fallen about 45 percent in the last six months.

Reporting By Tanvi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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