UPDATE 1-OMV agrees to sell 30 pct stake in British Rosebank field to Suncor
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VIENNA Aug 9 (Reuters) - Austrian energy group OMV has agreed to sell most of its 50 percent stake in the British Rosebank field to Canada's Suncor Energy for as much as $215 million, OMV said on Tuesday.
OMV said it would also book a pretax impairment charge of 530 million euros ($589 million) in the second quarter for its stake in the field, which would shrink to 20 percent.
The Rosebank field, northwest of Shetland in the North Sea, is one of OMV's major exploration projects and is operated by U.S. oil major Chevron.
"The addition of Suncor, with their substantial offshore experience, to the Rosebank consortium will strengthen the venture considerably as it moves towards project implementation," the head of OMV's upstream segment, Johann Pleininger, said in a statement.
OMV was due to report its second-quarter results on Wednesday. Chevron holds a 40 percent share of the Rosebank project while Denmark's Dong Energy holds the remaining 10 percent.
OMV in 2013 increased its stake in Rosebank to 50 percent as part of its $2.65 billion acquisition of Statoil assets aimed at increasing its focus on exploration and production and to make up for output losses in volatile countries such as Libya and Yemen.
The collapse in oil prices over the past year, however, has forced oil and gas companies to slash spending and scrap or delay around $200 billion in deepwater oil projects and huge gas plants this year. ($1 = 0.8998 euro) (Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Richard Balmforth and Jonathan Oatis)
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