Chevron in Lithuania exit

Lithuania exit: For John Watson-led Chevron

Chevron has given up on its operations in Lithuania, exiting the Baltic state after selling off its interest in a joint venture.

The move from the US supermajor follows its decision late last year to pull out of a tender to explore a prospect in which it was the sole bidder.

In a brief note buried on its website, Chevron said it has closed its office in Vilnius and sold off its 50% interest in LL Investicijos, a private Lithuanian oil and gas explorer.

"Chevron has closed its office in Lithuania as the opportunities here could no longer compete favourably with other opportunities in our global portfolio," the California-based giant said in a statement later on Tuesday.

It added that employees have been relocated within other Chevron operations.

Chevron declined to provide details about the buyer or the sales price.

However, Swedish explorer Tethys Oil said in a separate release that it had increased its stake in the Rietavas licence in western Lithuania as a result of the Chevron sale.

Tethys now owns a 30% stake in the license, a 2400-square-kilometre tranche prospective for shale gas and oil, located just north of the Silute-Taurage gas block.

Tethys previously owned a 14% interest through its indirect 20% stake in LL Investicijos, which holds exploration rights at Rietavas.

Danish player Odin Energi owns the remainder of LL Investicijos, though it was not clear if that company also increased its stake in the Lithuanian shale blocks, or by how much.

Tethys also said it had increased its interest in the Raiseiniai licence, an onshore Lithuanian block that is also held by LL Investicijos.

Tethys raised its stake in that block from 26% to 30% "after adjustments amongst the shareholders".

In September last year, Lithuania's government said it had awarded Chevron the 1800-square-kilometre Silute-Taurage tract to explore for shale gas, an announcement that turned out to be premature after Chevron backed out of the deal the next month.

The award would have given Chevron, the only bidder for the licence, the right to explore for unconventional resources for seven years.

"Significant changes to the fiscal, legislative and regulatory climate in Lithuania have substantially impacted the operational and commercial basis of the investment decision since the company submitted its bid in January 2013," Chevron said in a statement at the time.

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