Oil On Tap: BP Nears Rosneft Deal, Exxon Mobil to Acquire Celtic Exploration

British Petroleum (NYSE:BP) is reportedly moving closer to a sale of its 50 percent stake in TNK-BP, a joint venture with Russian billionaires represented by the Alfa-Access-Renova consortium. Rosneft, an oil company majority-owned by the Russian government, has reportedly agreed to buy BP’s stake for $25 billion. A successful sale could shore up BP’s fundraising efforts related to the Deepwater Horizon disaster, as it still faces billions in settlement claims from the U.S. government.

Rosneft has also offered the AAR consortium a bid for its share, reportedly valued at $28 billion. As the Wall Street Journal notes: “The TNK-BP saga has had many twists and turns and there is no guarantee that the deals currently envisioned will ultimately go forward.”

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Meanwhile, Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) has agreed to buy Celtic Exploration for 3.1 billion Canadian dollars ($3.14 billion USD). Shares of the Canadian company shot up over 40 percent on the news. According to a press release, Exxon Mobil Canada will acquire 545,000 net acres in the Montney shale, and 104,000 net acres in the Duvernay shale, among others.

“This acquisition will add significant liquids-rich resources to our existing North American unconventional portfolio,” said Exxon Mobil Canada president Andrew Barry in the release. The agreement is still subject to approval from Celtic Exploration’s shareholders and Canadian regulators.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) has begun pulling gas from the Boreas-1 exploration well off the coast of Western Australia. The well saw a maximum flow rate of 30.2 million cubic feet per day during initial clean up, according to an announcement from partner Karoon Gas Australia. The report notes that the flow rate was constrained by surface equipment.

“These initial test flows are encouraging for the remaining test program at Boreas-1,” reads the announcement. The COP-Karoon joint venture is using Transocean’s (NYSE:RIG) Legend semi-submersible rig for drilling and testing. The production tests will continue for about five days, and are aimed at determining the size of the Greater Poseidon trend. Boreas-1 is the first of up to five planned wells for the area.

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