Devon Energy Corp. reached an agreement on Dec. 17 to exit the Barnett Shale in a $770 million sale, making good on a promise the Oklahoma City-based company made earlier this year to transition its portfolio to oil.

The Barnett, one of the largest natural gas fields in Texas, had historically been a cornerstone asset for Devon. After acquiring a substantial position in 2002 through its acquisition of a company founded by George P. Mitchell—largely regarded as the father of the shale revolution, Devon was the first to apply horizontal drilling techniques in the Barnett, according to the company website.

However, with its sights set on increasing returns, Devon laid out plans in February 2019 to transform into a U.S. oil growth business. This included the possible sale or spin-off of its assets in the Barnett and Canada, the latter of which the company sold to Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. in a multibillion-dollar transaction that closed in June.

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