Talisman 'eyeing Asian sale'

Wielding the knife: Talisman chief Hal Kvisle

Talisman Energy is reported to be looking at a possible sale of all or part of its Asian asset portfolio, valued at around $4 billion.

The Canadian independent, led by chief executive Hal Kvisle, is looking to sell off assets to cut debt and bolster its balance sheet, with its Norway portfolio – including the ill-fated Yme field project – already on the block.

The company is now also reviewing its Asian oil and gas portfolio, which is considered a core part of its business, and is working with Goldman Sachs on the review, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

It is unclear whether Talisman will opt to sell the entire portfolio or retain some assets, with a partial listing of the assets also one of the options being discussed, they said.

Talisman owns oil and gas assets in Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Asia-Pacific region that are expected to generate about $1.2 billion, or nearly half, of Talisman's 2014 estimated cash flow, according to company presentations.

Earlier this year, the company put up for sale its interests in the Kitan and Laminaria-Corrallina oilfields in the Timor Sea.

Talisman plans to put $2 billion worth of assets on the market in the next 12 to 18 months, after raising $6.6 billion through asset disposals since 2011, according to the company website.

The company does not disclose the names of the projects it plans to sell as part of the restructuring.

A possible sale of core Asian assets would mark a major strategic shift by the company, which is looking to refocus investments on the North America play to boost liquids output.

US independents such as Hess and Newfield Exploration are also divesting assets in an effort to focus on their main home markets.

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