By TESS STYNES
Hess Corp. is seeking to sell its US terminal network and
complete its exit from the refining business with the closing
of its Port Reading, N.J., refinery by the end of February.
CEO John Hess said the moves "will complete [the company's]
transformation from an integrated oil and gas company to one
that is predominantly an exploration and production company and
be able to redeploy substantial additional capital to fund its
future growth opportunities."
Hess on Monday also said it was notified by Elliott
Associates on Friday that it is seeking clearance from US
regulators to acquire more than $800 million in Hess shares and
that Elliott also is considering nominating candidates for
election to Hess's board at its upcoming annual meeting.
Mr. Hess said the company is willing to meet with Elliott to
hear its ideas. Further details weren't provided.
Hess recently had a market capitalization of about $20.12
The company has been pruning its portfolio to fund drilling
and exploration efforts, recently reaching a deal for $525
million from Royal Dutch Shell for its stake in the Beryl area
fields in the UK North Sea and the Scottish Area Gas Evacuation
System. In September, Hess agreed to sell some minority stakes
it holds in fields in Azerbaijan to India's ONGC Videsh Ltd. for $1
In addition to proceeds from the sale of the terminal
network, the company on Monday said it expects the planned
terminal-assets divestiture and exit from the refining business will free up about
$1 billion of working capital for other growth
Hess no longer considers the terminal network -- which
includes 19 terminals along the East Coast and which had been a
main outlet for production for its Hovensa joint venture with
Petroleos de Venezuela SA -- as central to its operations.
Hess's St. Lucia terminal in the Caribbean also will be in the
group offered for sale.
Hess also said it has access to refined petroleum products
from third parties to support its retail and marketing
The Port Reading operation produces primarily gasoline and
components used for blending heating oil and has incurred
losses during two of the past three years.
Dow Jones Newswires