Newfield sheds Granite Wash assets

Sold: Newfield sells assets to Templar Energy

US independent Newfield Exploration has agreed to sell its assets in the Granite Wash unconventional play to a subsidiary of privately held Le Norman Operating for $588 million.

The assets include about 42,000 net acres with current net production of nearly 65 million cubic feet equivalent per day, 60% of which is natural gas.

They also include proved net reserves of about 38 MM barrels of oil equivalent.

Newfield plans to use the proceeds from this sale to call its senior subordinated notes due in 2018.

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2014.

"Today's announcement is consistent with the underlying objectives in our three-year plan," said Newfield chief executive Larry Massaro, adding that it "further demonstrates our willingness to monetise non-strategic assets, high-grade our portfolio, accelerate our domestic growth programmes and strengthen our balance sheet".

"Our future investments will be in high-return, scalable resource plays where we can drive value through repeatable application of our core competencies in drilling and completions," he added.

For Le Norman subsidiary Templar Energy, based in Oklahoma City, the deal is the second major acquisition of Granite Wash assets in less than a year.

In October last year, the company paid $1 billion for Forest Oil's properties in the Texas Panhandle that included about 100,000 net acres prospective for liquids-rich natural gas targets in the Granite Wash and tight-oil plays such as the Cleveland, Tonkawa and Hogshooter formations.

Le Norman is backed by private equity players First Reserve, Trilantic Capital Partners and Cohesive Capital.

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