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3 Deals to Watch: Crude, Coal and Diet Pills

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - ConocoPhillips (COP - Get Report) Wednesday said it sold $2 billion worth of pipeline assets in two separate deals, which are a continuation of up to $20 billion in divestitures expected by 2012.

ConocoPhillips said it will be selling its 16.55% stake in Colonial Pipeline to Canadian pension fund Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec for $850 million. The Houston -based company will also be selling its ownership of Seaway Crude Pipeline to Enbridge (ENB) for up to $1.15 billion. In a separate statement, Enbridge said it would use the purchase to reverse the direction of crude oil flows on the Seaway pipeline and transport oil from the delivery point of West Texas Intermediate in Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf Coast.

"These two sales of non-core pipeline assets are important components of our $15-20 billion divestiture program for the years 2010-2012," said Al Hirshberg, a senior vice president at ConocoPhillips in a statement announcing the deal.

With the deals, ConocoPhillips has accomplished roughly $10.5 billion in divestitures since 2010. In 2009, ConocoPhillips first announced a program to divest $10 billion of non-core oil assets like refineries and pipelines by 2011. With Wednesday's pipeline sales, it looks like the company's hit its target and added up to another $10 billion in sales expected by the end of 2012.

To get to its target's, ConocoPhillips has done two major deals. In 2010 it sold a stake in Syncrude Canada to state-owned Chinese oil firm Sinopec (SNP) for $4.65 billion. It also sold its entire 20% stake in Russian oil giant Lukoil (LUKOY) for $3.4 billion in February.

ConocoPhillips shares fell nearly 1% to $71.34 in early trading. Its shares have risen nearly 6% year-to-date but are off earlier post crisis highs above $80 a share reached in April.

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The company also announced in July that it would split into two companies, one focused on oil exploration and production and another on refining. It also announced a plan to IPO its refineries business, which would create one of the largest independent oil refiners in the world. About the split of its businesses, ConocoPhillips chief executive Jim Mulva said, "We do think the pure plays are better understood in the marketplace, and it is going to put a lot more focus on our management and our leadership to accomplish their objective," in an analyst call announcing the deal.

Currently, ConocoPhillips produces nearly 1.7 million barrels of oil equivalent a day and holds additional eight billion barrels of additional oil i reserves. In total, ConocoPhillips's combined businesses have nearly 30,000 employees, $155 billion in assets and $247 billion in revenues, as of the quarter ended in September.
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