Kuwait snaps up stake in Japan firm's Norwegian oil ops

Japan's AOC Holdings sells stake to Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Japan's AOC Holdings said on Thursday its upstream unit, Arabian Oil Co, has agreed to sell the entire stake in its Norwegian operations to Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (Kufpec).

The sale, whose value was not disclosed, will give the wholly-owned unit of state oil firm Kuwait Petroleum Company access to a 5 percent stake in the producing Gyda oil field and a 10 percent stake in the troubled Yme oil field, both in the North Sea off Norway.

AOC, which in February projected net loss of 7.7 billion yen ($79.10m) for the fiscal year ended in March, said it may post an additional loss of around 6 billion yen from the sale. The deal is likely to be finalised in June after Norwegian government approval, the company added.

AOC had been looking to sell its stake in the Yme field. It is also trying to find a buyer for a 50-percent stake in the Northwest October block in the Gulf of Suez in Egypt, which is unlikely to produce oil anytime soon.

The Japanese firm in December announced plans to effectively pull out of upstream oil and gas development by transferring its upstream business employees to JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration, which has been seeking to expand its business.

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