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Talisman, Statoil said to explore sale of Texas shale venture


CALGARY, Alberta (Bloomberg) -- Talisman Energy and Statoil are considering selling their joint venture in Texas’s oil-rich Eagle Ford basin, which could fetch more than $4 bn, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The companies have interviewed banks to manage a sale of the 50-50 partnership, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. A sale could draw interest from large exploration companies such as Encana, Murphy Oil, and Devon Energy that want to acquire more oil-producing properties, one of the people said.

Talisman and Statoil have been selling assets around the world as they seek to slim down and raise capital for more profitable drilling projects. Talisman solicited offers previous year for its 50% interest in the Eagle Ford, and couldn’t find a buyer in part because Statoil wasn’t ready to exit, three of the people familiar with the matter said.

Simon Scott, a spokesman for Talisman, declined to comment, as did Knut Rostad, a spokesman for Statoil. A representative for Encana declined to comment, while spokesmen for Devon and Murphy didn’t return calls seeking comment.

Talisman climbed as much as 10% in afterhours trading on May 4, 2014 after closing at $10.11 in New York. Statoil, dropped less than 1% in Oslo trading to $182.80 kroner.

Statoil took over operations of the eastern part of the joint venture in July 2013, the companies stated previous year. It produces 27,700 boepd according to Statoil’s 2013 annual report.

Talisman agreed in December to appoint two board members backed by Carl Icahn, after the activist investor took a stake in Talisman Energy. It hired Toronto-Dominion Bank in April to sell its operations in Canada’s Central Foothills region, according to Toronto-Dominion’s website.

Reuters reported previous June that Talisman had retained Royal Bank of Canada to explore a sale of its Eagle Ford operations for as much as $2 bn.



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