SMM7, March 30: Western oil company (Occidental Petroleum Corp.) is in talks to sell energy assets in Africa and the Middle East (worth $4.5 billion) to Indonesian state-owned company PT Pertamina, according to people familiar with the matter. The deal will help Western oil companies reduce their acquisition of Anadarko Petroleum Corp. last year The resulting debt.
Shares in western oil have tumbled more than 60 per cent this year as a result of the worst decline in the oil and gas industry in years, and the company has laid off staff and cut spending to cope with huge debt. The stock was up 2.6% before the market opened on Wednesday.
The Indonesian company has also expressed interest in acquiring some of Occidental's assets in Algeria and Oman, although those assets may not be included in the initial deal, people familiar with the matter said.
Pertamina has not yet finalised a deal, the details of the deal are still likely to change, and other bidders have expressed interest in Occidental assets.
A spokesman for the company had no immediate comment.
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