[Editor's note: This story was updated at 3:15 p.m. CST Aug. 6.]
Lime Rock Resources agreed to buy ConocoPhillips’ interest in about 114,000 net acres in the Fort Worth Basin for about $230 million. ConocoPhillips said its Barnett assets averaged 9,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day of production for the first half of 2018, of which roughly 55% was natural gas and 45% was NGL.
ConocoPhillips’ deal comes more than a year after the company announced an affiliate of Miller Thomson & Partners LLC had agreed to buy its Barnett assets for $305 million. However, ConocoPhillips terminated that agreement in fourth-quarter 2017, the company said in regulatory filings.
The company had also stopped marketing efforts for its Barnett position by April and reclassified the asset to held for use, according to the regulatory filings.
For Lime Rock, the transaction marks the company’s entrance into the Barnett shale play in the Fort Worth Basin. Based in Houston, Lime Rock is focused on the acquisition and improvement of mature producing oil and gas properties in the U.S. The company’s portfolio currently includes assets in the Gulf Coast/Gulf of Mexico, Midcontinent, Permian and Williston basin regions.
Eric Mullins, co-CEO of Lime Rock Resources, said in a statement, “The recent acquisition provides the Lime Rock Resources fund with an entry into the liquids-rich Barnett portion of the Fort Worth, which is a basin that we have been attracted to for several years.”
Mullins noted that the acquisition comes with about 114,000 net acres and has relatively low associated water production rates.
“We look forward to applying our operational improvement strategies to a property in a new basin. The assets provide the acquiring fund with robust cash flow and substantial horizontal development opportunities,” Charlie Adcock, co-CEO of Lime Rock Resources, added in a statement.
ConocoPhillips’ Laser Focus
After a blockbuster year of divesting up to $16 billion of noncore assets in 2017, ConocoPhillips has continued with a “laser focus” on its portfolio into this year.
So far in 2018, the company has completed divestitures of noncore assets totaling about $250 million. These asset sales have included certain properties in the Permian Basin and a package of largely undeveloped acreage in South Texas.
“We have been laser focused on strengthening our portfolio by divesting noncore properties, while adding high-value resource opportunities for future investment,” Matt Fox, executive vice president of strategy, exploration and technology for ConocoPhillips, said in a statement in April.
Proceeds from the sales will be used for general corporate purposes, which could include reducing debt, accelerating share repurchases, maintaining capital discipline and retaining cash on the balance sheet.
On July 26, ConocoPhillips released its second-quarter results which topped Wall Street’s estimates for quarterly profit. The company also raised its capex and annual production target for the year.
ConocoPhillips expects to close the Barnett transaction with Lime Rock by year-end 2018.
Emily Patsy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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