ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) decided to divest Australian business to Santos Ltd (OTCMKTS:SSLZY) and focus on North American operations for $1.4 billion. The assets include a significant stake in Darwin LNG facility, stakes in Athena, Poseidon, Bayu-Undan, and Caldita and the interests in the Barossa gas development project. Following the deal, Santos would strengthen its position in the flourishing LNG market in Asia. ConocoPhillips would retain leadership in Australia Pacific Liquefied Natural Gas Project.
Chief Operating Officer of ConocoPhillips, Matt Fox, said the company has put in considerable efforts in developing the business in Australia for the last 20 years. He hopes that Santos would continue to establish the Barossa project and recognize the value of the prevailing business. Santos would continue to operate the LNG operations in Darwin for another twenty years.
ConocoPhillips increases the dividend to investors
ConocoPhillips would spend $500 million to pay a 40% higher dividend to its shareholders. It is the 4th dividend after introducing the new business policy in late 2016. The investors would expect more dividends in the future because the company disburses the surplus cash back to shareholders. ConocoPhillips would also buy back its stock.
Divests North Sea assets
ConocoPhillips has sold North Sea gas and oil assets for $2.675 billion to Chrysaor in April 2019 and exits production and exploration business in the UK. Following the takeover, Chrysaor would find a place among the largest operators in the UK. Its production would increase to 177,000 barrels, an increase of 72,000 barrels daily. The assets being sold to Chrysaor include a stake in the Clair Field region and two newly operated hubs. ConocoPhillips would keep the commercial trading business in London. It would also maintain a 40.25% interest in the Teesside oil terminal.
Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of ConocoPhillips, Ryan Lance, said Chrysaor would value its production and exploration assets in the UK. He is pleased that Chrysaor would continue the development in the coming years. Its business in the UK is the result of over 50 year’s operational excellence. ConocoPhillips has stopped the Central Louisiana Austin based exploration activities.
ConocoPhillips would release Q3 2019 results on October 29, 2019. It will discuss the operating and financial results at noon on October 29, 2019, through a webcast.