Hess closes Equatorial Guinea deal

U.S. oil and gas company Hess Corporation has completed the previously announced sale of its interests offshore Equatorial Guinea to Kosmos Energy and Trident Energy.

Back in late October Hess announced the sale of its assets offshore Equatorial Guinea for a total consideration of $650 million, effective January 1, 2017. The move was part of Hess’ strategy to focus its portfolio by investing in higher return assets and divesting more mature, higher cost assets.

Under the agreement, Kosmos will be responsible for exploration and subsurface evaluation while Trident, a newly formed international oil and gas company supported by Warburg Pincus, will be primarily responsible for production operations and optimization.

Hess’ exit from Equatorial Guinea came after nearly two decades of operations at the Ceiba field and Okume complex. The company operated the two producing areas with an 85 percent stake. Partners Tullow Oil (15 percent) and national oil company GEPetrol (5 percent carried interest) will now work with the new operator Kosmos Energy.

“Our 2017 asset monetizations have exceeded expectations in terms of value and timing,” CEO John Hess said. “These proceeds, along with cash on our balance sheet, are enabling us to prefund our world-class investment opportunity in Guyana, increase our rig count in the Bakken in 2018, return capital to shareholders and reduce debt.”

Hess said in October that proceeds from the sale would be used to fund the development of its assets offshore Guyana. Namely, Hess holds a 30 percent interest in the ExxonMobil-operated giant Liza discovery offshore Guyana.

The Liza field is part of the Stabroek Block, which measures 6.6 million acres, or 26,800 square kilometers. It is approximately 190 kilometers offshore in water depths of 1,500 to 1,900 meters.