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SM Energy Casting Off More Assets to Keep Focus in Texas

Denver-based independent SM Energy Co. has clinched agreements to sell its remaining Williston Basin assets and some properties in West Texas for a combined $292.3 million.

The assets, to be sold to undisclosed buyers, include Williston assets in Divide County, ND, and a third-party operated asset known as Halff East in Upton County, TX.

The sales allow SM to remain “committed” to focusing on core properties in Texas, including the Permian Basin’s Midland sub-basin and the Eagle Ford Shale, as well as improving the balance sheet, said CEO Jay Ottoson.

“This is a significant step on both those fronts,” he said. “In combination with the recent divestiture of our noncore Powder River Basin assets, year-to-date we have announced the expected divestiture of approximately $792 million of noncore assets, which results in an expected reduction in net debt pro forma for year-end 2017 by 30%."

The assets to be sold in Divide County include about 119,400 net acres, with an estimated 28.8 million boe net proved reserves as of year-end 2017. In December, net output averaged 5,100 boe/d, 83% weighted to oil.

The Upton County properties being sold include a 60% working interest in third-party operated assets, about 5,400 net acres, 1.6 million boe net proved reserves and net production in December of about 1,025 boe/d, 72% weighted to oil.

Both transactions are expected to be completed by mid-year. Expected sale proceeds would be used for general corporate purposes, including debt reduction.

“The estimated effect on 2018 production from both transactions is a reduction of 1.2 million boe, 81% oil and 19% natural gas,” management said.

RBC Richardson Barr served as financial adviser for the Halff East divestiture and Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. served as financial adviser for the Divide County divestiture.


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