ConocoPhillips plans to sell some US noncore oil and gas producing acreages

US oil giant ConocoPhillips is planning to sell some of its non-core oil and gas producing acreage in the US, Reuters yesterday reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

ConocoPhillips has hired Wells Fargo to sell some the assets, including oil and gas properties in the Rockies, East Texas, South Texas and Northern Louisiana, the report said.

Citing industry sources, the report added that ConocoPhillips is expected to sell between $1 billion and $2.5 billion worth of noncore assets in the US.

"It is common in the energy business for companies to review, readjust and optimize their portfolio from time to time," a ConocoPhillips representative told Reuters, declining to comment on the specific sale. A Wells Fargo representative declined to comment to Reuters.

The potential asset sale would be the largest acreage sale in the US by an energy major this year.

Although energy companies are currently not keen on selling assets since oil prices have dropped by 50 per cent since last June and buyers would offer a low value, a few have ventured to sell after oil prices started to decline by 50 per cent since last June.

Earlier this year, ConocoPhillips hired Canada-based investment bank Scotia Waterous to assist in a potential sale of oil and gas assets in western Canada and Anadarko Petroleum is reported to have hired Citgroup to sell its East Texas acreage.

BG Group of the UK last week agreed to sell itself to European oil and Gas giant Royal Dutch Shell for $69.6 billion. (See: Shell to buy Britain's BG Group for $69.6 bn)

Houston-based ConocoPhillips had announced in its 2015 to 2017 capital budget and growth outlook that it intends to cut billions from its annual spending for 2015 to 2017 to $11.5 billion, down from its previous plan of $16 billion. In 2014, the company spent $17.1 billion

Earlier this month, it began laying off 4 per cent of its 2,000 employees at its former corporate home in Bartlesville, and 2 per cent from its Canadian operations.