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Chevron's $3 Billion Geothermal Asset Sale Attracts Bidders

Per the reports recently published by Bloomberg, U.S. energy giant Chevron Corporation’sCVX Asian geothermal assets are attracting interest from potential buyers and is expected to generate as much as $3 billion for the company.

Sovereign wealth fund, China Investment Corp.; Japanese trading house, Marubeni; Philippine geothermal energy producers – Energy Development Corp. , Aboitiz Power Corp, Malakoff Corp. and Ormat Technologies Inc. – are among the companies who have expressed interest in the asset sale.  Per sources, Chevron is being advised on the sale by Citigroup Inc. C and the call for indicative bids is expected to begin by the end of next month.

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. The company’s upstream unit, which is its largest earnings generating segment, was the worst hit by the ongoing oil price slump, as its results are directly influenced by commodity price movements. Hence, Chevron has been contemplating the sale of its geothermal assets in Asia to counter sluggish economic growth and weak commodity prices.

Chevron, the largest U.S. oil producer after Exxon Mobil Corporation XOM, has already canceled drilling projects and slashed headcount to counter low energy prices. Apart from the geothermal assets, the company intends to sell its stake in the Indonesian oil and natural gas field. Also, a 75% stake in its South African unit is likely to be divested 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.

A better-ranked player in the energy sector is Sasol Ltd. SSL. It sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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