Gulfport Energy Corp. inked a deal to sell noncore assets in the Bakken Shale for $8 million, management announced along with the third quarter earnings results.
Net production from the Bakken assets to be sold averaged 68.6 boe/d during the first nine months of this year. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.
Gulfport is working through previously announced monetization plans to sell an array of noncore assets, including water infrastructure in Oklahoma’s SCOOP region (aka South Central Oklahoma Oil Province) and interests in the Utica Shale.
Gulfport expects to enter definitive agreements to divest the water infrastructure assets and for the sale of the Utica interests by the end of the year.
“One of the benefits of having a new plan budget process is, just like we did when we found the SCOOP water assets around the second quarter as an opportunity, we’re going to take a full scrub through everything,” said CEO David Wood. The water infrastructure and Utica divestitures are the main sale plans in the pipeline, but as the company continues to look at monetization opportunities, “there might be some small things that shake out.”
Gulfport’s asset sales are part of its broader strategy to narrow its focus to core production in the Utica and the SCOOP, a plan the company announced in January. Since then, Gulfport has divested Marcellus Shale assets and legacy assets on the Gulf Coast.
The company expects lower activity levels in 2020 as it focuses on budgetary discipline amid investor pressure to cut spending.
Referring to 2020 capital expenditures (capex), Wood said, “We’re not chasing the production target here. We’re focused on returns. Moving to this more rateable capital through 2020 and 2021 and beyond, I wouldn’t be surprised if next year is down a little bit from where we are this year.”
Wood declined to specify an absolute range for 2020 capex, but the company’s earnings report affirmed expectations that total capex for 2019 should end up within the previously provided guidance range of $565-600 million.
Gulfport reported a net loss for 3Q2019 of $48.8 million (minus 31 cents/share), which compares with a net income of $95.2 million (55 cents) in the year-earlier period.