UPDATE 1-Pioneer Natural to sell Barnett Shale assets
Sept 6 (Reuters) - Oil and gas producer Pioneer Natural Resources Co plans to sell its acreage in the Barnett shale field in Texas to raise capital for its more lucrative assets and cut down debt.
Pioneer Natural said the sale will allow the company to spend more on assets in the Spraberry field, the Wolfcamp shale and the Eagle Ford shale, all located in Texas.
The company has about 155,000 gross acres in the Barnett shale, which accounted for 4 percent of the company's production in the first half of the year.
Production from the field is about 7,000 barrels oil equivalent per day, of which 55 percent is oil and natural gas liquids.
The company ran two drilling rigs in the Barnett Shale field in the first half of the year but brought it down to one in August due to weak prices for natural gas and related liquids.
Pioneer expects to complete the divestiture process during the first quarter of 2013.
RBC Richardson Barr has been engaged to market the assets for the company.
Atlas Resource Partners L.P. agreed to buy about 12,000 net acres in the Barnett shale field from Carrizo Oil & Gas for $190 million in March.
Shares of Pioneer were up 2 percent at $98 in premarket trading.
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