Oil producer QEP to unload Williston Basin assets, focus on Permian basin

(Reuters) - Oil producer QEP Resources Inc said on Wednesday it would sell its Williston Basin assets in North Dakota and Montana to Vantage Energy Acquisition Corp for up to $1.73 billion, as it seeks to focus on the Permian basin in Texas and New Mexico.

The Permian basin is at the heart of the shale boom in North America, prompting many producers to focus on the oil rich region.

“We intend to use the proceeds from asset sales to fund the ongoing development of our core Permian assets, reduce debt, and return cash to shareholders through a share repurchase program,” Chief Executive Officer Chuck Stanley said in a statement.

It expects to close the deal in the first half of 2019.

Reporting by Debroop Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar, Bernard Orr