Apache to sell western Canada assets in liquids push

Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:40am EDT

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(Reuters) - U.S. oil and gas producer Apache Corp (APA.N) said it would sell natural gas assets in western Alberta and British Columbia, Canada, for $374 million to focus on more lucrative liquids production.

Apache is selling primarily dry gas-producing wells located over 622,600 gross acres. The assets being sold produced an average of 101 million cubic feet of natural gas and 1,500 barrels of liquids per day in 2013.

The company, which did not name the buyer, said the deal was expected to close on or about April 30.

"This transaction is part of Apache's portfolio rebalancing, which was undertaken last year to enable Apache to focus on growing liquids production from a deep inventory of crude oil- and liquids-rich opportunities in North America," Chief Executive Steven Farris said in a statement.

To narrow its focus on higher margin shale oil drilling in North America, Apache has sold assets in the Gulf of Mexico and Argentina and a stake in its Egyptian oil and gas business.

The company is also looking to lower its 50 percent stake in the Kitimat liquefied natural gas export project in British Columbia, in which Chevron Corp (CVX.N) is a partner.

The company said it would use the proceeds from the deal to buy back shares under its 30-million-share repurchase program.

The company's shares, which gained about 8 percent in the last 12 months, opened about 1 percent higher at $83.82 on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Anannya Pramanick in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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