Apache Corp plans to sell assets worth $4 bn

Apache Corp LogoApache Corp, the second-largest US independent oil and gas company after Anadarko Petroleum, today said that it plans to sell assets worth $4 billion this year in order to reduce debt and buy back shares.

The Houston-based company did not reveal which assets it intends to sell, but said that it has conducted a strategic portfolio review to identify assets that no longer fits its growth profile.

Apache intends to use initial proceeds of $2 billion to reduce debt and enhance financial flexibility, and has earmarked approximately $2 billion to buy back its common shares under a 30-million-share repurchase program.

''This rationalisation of our asset base flows naturally from more than $16 billion of acquisitions over the last three years. Our goal is to ensure that Apache's portfolio has the right mix of assets to generate attractive rates of return, drive production growth, and create shareholder value,'' said, Steven Farris, Apache's chairman and CEO.

"Proceeds from this program will enable us to reduce debt and repurchase up to 30 million shares or approximately 7.5 per cent of shares outstanding," Farris said.  "We believe that as a result of this process, we will become an even stronger company with a focused portfolio of high-growth, high-return assets," he added.

With market capitalisation of $31.7 billion and 2012 revenues of $16.8 billion, Apache has in recent years acquired hydrocarbon assets from oil majors including BP's assets in the US, Canada and Egypt, and Devon Energy and Mariner Energy's assets in the Gulf of Mexico.

Apache has operations in the US, Canada, Egypt, the UK North Sea, Australia and Argentina.