Hess selling Russia business to Lukoil for $1.8B

NEW YORK (AP) -- Hess Corp. said Monday that it agreed to sell its Samara-Nafta division in Russia to OAO Lukoil, the second-largest oil company in Russia, for proceeds of $1.8 billion as it continues to sell off assets.

Samara-Nafta produces 50,000 barrels of oil a day in the Volga-Urals region. Hess has a 90-percent stake in the business and said the deal values Samara-Nafta at $2.05 billion. Lukoil added that Samara-Nafta has about 85 million tons of oil reserves.

The deal will be reviewed by Russian antitrust regulators.

Shares of Hess rose $1.74, or 2.4 percent, to $73.35 in morning trading.

Hess has announced or closed the sale of its interest in a North Sea oil field, a shale deposit in Texas, and several offshore oil fields near Azerbaijan. Including the Samara-Nafta sale, it expects $3.4 billion in proceeds from the sales. Hess said it will use that money to reduce debt.

In March Hess announced plans to sell its retail gas stations business, along with its energy trading and marketing businesses, as it shifts its focus further toward exploration and production. It also intends to sell U.S. oil storage terminals and will close a New Jersey refinery as it exits the volatile refining business.