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Chevron to Divest Myanmar Assets Worth $1.3 Billion

According to a report recently published by Reuters, U.S. energy giant Chevron Corporation CVX has decided to divest its entire stake in the Myanmar gas block for as much as $1.3 billion. The move should help the company conserve cash, focus more on its core assets, trim its debt load and improve the health of its balance sheet.

Chevron owns a stake of around 28% of the Yadana and Sein gas fields in the Andaman Sea, 99% stake in exploration Block A5 in the prolific Rakhine Basin and also holds equity interest in the pipeline company that transports natural gas to the Thai border.

Per sources, Chevron – the largest U.S. oil producer after Exxon Mobil Corporation XOM – is mulling over the sale of all its Myanmar assets after operating in the company for nearly two decades. Notably, this will be the largest of all the deals involving Myanmar assets signed by the company. Myanmar contributes a considerable amount of natural gas to the company’s total production. In fact, the company produced around 117 million cubic feet of natural gas per day in the nation last year.

With WTI crude price sliding from the $90–$100 per barrel mark less than two years ago to around $40 per barrel and natural gas trading around $2/MMBtu, Chevron’s earnings and cash flows have been severely affected.

In particular, Chevron’s upstream unit, which is its largest earnings generating segment, has been the worst hit by the ongoing oil price slump as its results are directly influenced by commodity price movements. Hence, the company is undertaking several measures to counter sluggish economic growth and weak commodity prices. Apart from the Myanmar assets, the company intends to sell its stake in the Asian geothermal assets for approximately $3 billion. Additionally, Chevron has canceled drilling projects and slashed headcount to reduce expenses. The company is also trying to sell its stake in the Indonesian oil and natural gas field to improve cash flow.

San Ramon, CA-based Chevron Corporation is engaged in oil and gas exploration and production, refining and marketing of petroleum products, manufacturing of chemicals, and other energy-related businesses.

Chevron currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), which implies that the stock will perform in line with the broader U.S. equity market over the next one to three months.

Some better-ranked stocks in the same sector are Sasol Ltd. SSL and PetroChina Co. Ltd. PTR. Both these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
CHEVRON CORP (CVX): Free Stock Analysis Report
PETROCHINA ADR (PTR): Free Stock Analysis Report
EXXON MOBIL CRP (XOM): Free Stock Analysis Report
SASOL LTD -ADR (SSL): Free Stock Analysis Report
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