Apache Corp eyes $1.4 bn through sale of oil and gas assets

Apache Corp, the second-largest US independent oil and gas company after Anadarko Petroleum, yesterday announced that it would sell oil and gas assets in two separate deals, for about $1.4 billion.

The Houston-based company will sell its working interest in approximately 90,000 net acres in southern Louisiana. These mature fields, which are characterised by high decline rates and short reserve lives, produced approximately 21,000 barrels oil equivalent (BOE) per day (62 per cent gas and NGLs) during the third quarter of 2014.

Apache said it will retain its 275,000 mineral acres in South Louisiana.

In a separate transaction, Apache agreed to sell approximately 115,000 net acres in a portion of its Stiles Ranch field in Wheeler County, Texas, and in its Mocane-Laverne and Verden fields in western Oklahoma.

Net production from these properties averaged 26,000 BOE per day (83 per cent gas and NGLs) during the third quarter of 2014.

Apache, which has made acquisitions worth more than $16 billion over the last three years, had last year said that it would sell assets worth $4 billion after conducting a strategic portfolio review to identify assets that no longer fits its growth profile.

Commenting on the sale, Steven Farris, Apache's chairman, CEO and president, said, "We have made great progress in strategically positioning our North American onshore portfolio for high growth and high returns. We continue to focus on growing liquids production from our deep inventory of North American resource locations.''

''Proceeds from today's announced asset sales will be used primarily to fund our 2014 leasehold acquisition programme, which has added significant acreage within our primary focus areas," he added.

With market cap of $27.4 billion and 2013 revenues of $16.1billion, 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.

Last year it sold its Gulf of Mexico shelf assets for $3.75 billion to Fieldwood Energy, a company backed by private equity firm Riverstone Holdings.