Kuwait's state-owned oil company, rapidly expanding its U.S. energy operations, has added a small Oklahoma oil and gas company to its list of holdings.
Andover Oil Co. of Tulsa -- a privately held, 10-year-old firm that is active in drilling in Oklahoma and Texas, and is part of a consortium conducting explorations off the coast of Malta -- will become a subsidiary of Santa Fe International Corp., the California drilling and oilfield equipment company the Kuwaitis bought last year.
Santa Fe has agreed to pay about $150 million for Andover. That will bring the U.S. investments of Kuwait Petroleum Co. to nearly $2.4 billion in the past two years.
The Kuwaitis left the management of Santa Fe largely intact when they acquired it last year, and they apparently are planning to do the same at Andover. Charles Stephenson, Andover's president, said yesterday that "there is not expected to be any change in the operations of the company at all" after the Santa Fe takeover.
Of all the state-owned oil companies in the oil-producing nations, Kuwait Petroleum is perhaps the closest to becoming an integrated, international energy company similar to the big American companies.
According to Abdul Razzak Mohammed Hussain, KPC's deputy chairman, the company now is involved in exploration, refining, production or marketing in Kuwait, the United States, Great Britain, Oman, Morocco and China. It also has interests in petrochemical and fertilizer production in several other nations.
In the United States, the Kuwaitis have invested $185 million in a refinery in Hawaii and have put about $50 million into a joint venture with AZL Resources Inc. in Arizona to look for petroleum and minerals in Western states.
Stephenson said Andover Oil had revenues of $78 million last year. Andover controls oil reserves of about 16 million barrels, and gas reserves of 223 billion cubic feet, a company statement said.
An aide to Rep. Benjamin Rosenthal (D-N.Y.), who conducted hearings on the implications of Kuwait's takeover of Santa Fe, said he would request a review of the Andover transaction by the interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.