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Magnum Hunter Steadily Selling Off Bakken Assets

Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. keeps whittling away at its North Dakota portfolio, announcing late Thursday another deal to sell more of its nonoperated Bakken Shale assets, this time divesting 12,500 net acres for $84.7 million to a large undisclosed independent.

The sale of those assets, located in Divide County, comes less than two weeks after the company announced a deal with a privately-held affiliate of Formation Energy LP to ditch 2,852 net non-operated acres in the same area for $23 million (see Shale Daily, Oct. 2).

Last year, Magnum sold off $700 million of noncore assets and pledged to continue the selling spree this year as it transitions to an Appalachian pure-play focused heavily on the Marcellus and Utica shales (see Shale Daily, Aug. 11).

The latest sale represents 720 boe/d of production; it's expected to close in the coming days. CEO Gary Evans said following the sale that Magnum has 151 gross producing wells across 73,690 acres left in North Dakota, representing 2,577 boe/d of production.

Financial analysts expect much of the company's remaining assets there to be sold by 2015, including a large nonoperated piece being worked by privately-held Samson Resources and a smaller operated piece that combined could fetch up to $410 million.

So far this year, Magnum has sold $210 million worth of noncore assets. Wunderlich Securities analyst Irene Haas said the sales are the right move for the company as it has about $1.2 billion in debt under its revolving credit facility and from several rounds of financing.

With the energy sector underperforming, though, as commodity prices have remained weak and profits have been squeezed (see Shale Daily, Oct. 9), Haas added that the market has largely overlooked Magnum's progress to date. Its stock was trading at the low end of a 52-week range of $4.44-9.27/share on Friday (see Shale Daily, Oct. 8).

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