Anadarko Petroleum Corp. on Tuesday said it agreed to sell two Louisiana oil fields to Exco Resources Inc. for $1.6 billion (euro1.21 billion) in cash as it continues a campaign to erase debt.
The Vernon and Ansley fields in Jackson Parish, Louisiana, produce 192 million cubic feet of equivalent per day from about 350 wells. The 66,000-acre (26,400-hectare) fields currently have six drilling rigs and four workover rigs, which are used to restore or increase production, at work.
"This divestiture is an important step in refocusing the portfolio following our acquisitions of Kerr-McGee and Western Gas Resources in August," said Chairman, President and Chief Executive Jim Hackett.
Houston-based Anadarko has been putting assets up for sale to reduce its roughly$26 billion (euro19.7 billion) debt. Some operations in Venezuela and Texas are on the block; in November, Anadarko closed the $4.24 billion (euro3.21 billion) sale of a Canadian subsidiary.
The sale of the two Louisiana fields is expected to close in the first quarter of 2007, and brings Anadarko's total asset divestiture to $8.1 billion (euro6.14 billion) so far _ more than halfway to its $11 billion (euro8.34 billion) to $15 billion (euro11.37 billion) goal.
"The divestiture is a continuation of Anadarko's ongoing strategy to high-grade its asset base," according to a note to investors sent by Raymond James & Associates. The company's analysts liked the decision to sell the mature fields and focus on newer, high potential fields, according to the note.
Analyst Robert S. Morris with Bank of America said he believes Anadarko received a favorable sale price in the deal. The company received $14.75 per barrel of oil equivalent, near the higher end of the $11-15 range the company expected it would receive for its remaining assets, Morris said.