Apache Corporation said Thursday it will sell oil and gas producing properties in the Nevis, North Grant Lands and South Grant Lands areas of western Alberta, to Ember Resources Inc., a private Canadian company, for CAN$220 million, as part of the company’s “portfolio rebalancing,” Apache said in a news release.
At the same time, Apache CEO Rodney Eichler said, “We also remain focused on advancing the Kitimat LNG project to monetize large unconventional resources in the Liard and Horn River basins in northern British Columbia.”
“Going forward, Apache is focused on growing our liquids production from a deep inventory of crude oil- and liquids-rich opportunities that generate attractive rates of return on our extensive remaining acreage in Canada’s Western Sedimentary Basin,” Eichler said.
“This transaction is one element of a comprehensive review of Apache’s portfolio to determine which assets make the most sense for Apache to own given our growth and return objectives and which assets are better owned by others,” Eichler said. “The Nevis, North Grant Lands and South Grant Lands assets fit in the latter category.”
Apache is selling 621,000 gross acres (530,000 net acres) and more than 2,700 wells that had average net production during the second quarter of 2013 of 67 million cubic feet of gas and 237 barrels of liquid hydrocarbons per day from late Cretaceous sands and coal seams. Apache says “it will retain 100 per cent working interest in horizons below the Cretaceous, such as potential Duvernay and Nisku, in Nevis and North Grant Lands.”
Apache previously announced plans to divest $4 billion in assets by the end of 2013. The company intends to use proceeds from the asset divestitures to reduce debt and enhance financial flexibility and to repurchase Apache common shares under a 30-million-share repurchase program authorized by the Board of Directors earlier this year.
In July, Apache announced an agreement to sell its Gulf of Mexico Shelf operations and properties to Fieldwood Energy LLC(Fieldwood), an affiliate of Riverstone Holdings, for cash proceeds of $3.75 billion. In addition, Fieldwood will assume all asset retirement obligations for these properties, which, as of June 30, 2013, Apache estimated at a discounted value of approximately $1.5 billion.