QEP Resources to sell Wyoming natgas assets for about $740 million

(Reuters) - QEP Resources Inc said it would sell its natural gas assets in Wyoming to privately held Pinedale Energy Partners LLC for about $740 million, as the U.S. oil and gas producer focuses on liquids-rich, higher-margin assets.

Like other oil and gas companies, QEP has been looking to increase exposure to low-cost drilling basins such as the Permian in West Texas, following a more than two-year slump in oil prices.

Denver, Colorado-based QEP said last year it would spend $600 million to buy acreage in the prolific basin.

QEP said on Monday the assets being sold produced 234 million cubic feet of natural gas per day in the first quarter, of which about 12 percent was liquids.

The deal is expected to close by Sept. 30, the company said.

In a separate transaction, QEP closed the sale of certain non-core natural gas assets in southern Wyoming for $37.5 million.

BMO Capital Markets served as financial adviser and Vinson & Elkins LLP provided legal counsel to QEP.

Reporting by John Benny in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila