ConocoPhillips Stops Austin Chalk LA Exploration, Sells UK Subsids with Houston Help

September 30, 2019

ConocoPhillips is exiting the Central Louisiana Austin Chalk and selling two UK subsidiaries with North Sea assets to London’s Chrysaor E&P.

The Houston-based company said on Monday it’s completed the sale of the subsidiaries, which together held all ConocoPhillips’ UK E&P assets along with $1.8 billion in asset retirement obligations, for $2.675 billion plus interest and customary adjustments.

The sale does not include ConocoPhillips’ London-based commercial trading business nor its interest in the Teesside oil terminal

Production associated with the U.K. assets sold was 72 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day in the first half of the year, the company said.

Chrysaor is backed by a 90% ownership interest on the part of Harbour Energy, which offices in Houston and Washington DC and calls itself “a permanent capital energy investment company advised by Houston’s EIG Global Energy Partners.”

Harbour said it’s been searching for more Central North Sea assets to complement a 2017 purchase from Royal Dutch Shell brought the investment company new production, and says the ConocoPhillip acquisition is “one of the largest oil and gas producers in the UK North Sea.”

ConocoPhillips also said Monday that it’s discontinued exploration in the Central Louisiana Austin Chalk and will record about $120 million in pre-tax Lower 48 dry hole expenses during the third quarter, primarily related to the Austin Chalk play.

And the company expects to record a non-cash leasehold impairment related to the acreage.