ConocoPhillips to sell Montana, North Dakota oilfileds to Denbury Resources for $1.05 bn

US oil giant ConocoPhillips yesterday agreed to sell some of its oilfields in Montana and North Dakota to  independent oil and gas producer Denbury Resources Inc for $1.05 billion, in order to focus on shale oil and gas assets in the same region.

The Houston-based company is selling its properties in the Cedar Creek Anticline, comprising approximately 86,000 net acres in southwestern North Dakota and eastern Montana.

ConocoPhillips' 2012 net production from these properties averaged 13 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day through November.

The sale does not include ConocoPhillips' assets in the Bakken Formation, where ConocoPhillips owns 626,000 net acres, consisting of 207,000 net lease acres and 419,000 net mineral acres.

ConocoPhillips said that the proposed sale of these assets is part of its plan to increase shareholders value through ''portfolio optimisation, focused capital investments that deliver growth in production and cash margins, improved returns on capital, and sector-leading shareholder distributions.''

''This disposition represents further optimisation of our portfolio. The transaction will allow us to focus our investments in North Dakota and Montana on our significant Bakken unconventional position,'' said Don Wallette, executive vice president, Commercial, Business Development and Corporate Planning.