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Arco, Phillips Win Oil Field Contract

June 06, 1997|(Bloomberg News)

Atlantic Richfield Co. and Phillips Petroleum Co. won a 20-year contract to operate the now-inactive 2,368-square-mile La Vela Costa Afuera oil field off Venezuela's northern coast. The two U.S. companies, which bid $1 million as part of a 50-50 venture, were the only group taking part in the auction by Petroleos de Venezuela. "We could invest $250 million to $300 million depending [on] what we find," said Carlos Bustamante Camacho of Phillips International Co. de Venezuela. The field is also thought to hold significant natural gas reserves. This is the third interest in an oil field won by Phillips in the current auction and the fourth by Los Angeles-based Arco. Arco shares lost 87.5 cents to close at $147.25, and Bartlesville, Okla.-based Phillips lost 50 cents to close at $43.75. Both trade on the NYSE.

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