Occidental in talks to sell $4.5bn energy asset to Ghana-bound Pertamina

Pertamina is negotiating the acquisition of oil and gas stakes in Ghana.

Oil and gas producer Occidental Petroleum Corp is in talks to sell $4.5 billion worth of energy assets in Africa and the middle east to Indonesia’s PT Pertamina in a bid to ease its debt load, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday.

Pertamina is negotiating the acquisition of oil and gas stakes in countries including Ghana and the United Arab Emirates, the report said, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

The Indonesian company has also expressed interest in buying some of Occidental’s assets in Algeria and Oman, the report said, adding that it has been discussing a purchase price of about $4.5 billion.

Occidental has been trying to sell assets to reduce the $40-billion debt it took on after its $38-billion purchase of Permian rival Anadarko Petroleum last year, an ill-timed bet on rising oil prices.

The company’s shares have plunged more than 60% this year amid the worst oil-and-gas industry downturn in years, and the company has cut staff and reduced expenses to deal with its massive debt levels. Shares were trading up 2.6% up before markets opened on Wednesday.

Occidental and Pertamina did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

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