Shale Daily / Cana-Woodford / Mid-Continent / Granite Wash / NGI All News Access

QEP Makes Three-Way Deal to Sell Midcon, Williston Leaseholds

Four onshore operators on Tuesday were dividing up a bundle of properties in the Midcontinent and Williston Basin being sold by a unit of QEP Resources Inc.

The asset packages all together went for a total of $807 million, said subsidiary QEP Energy Co. Two agreements worth a combined $772 million were fetched for acreage in the Cana-Woodford Shale and the Permian Basin's Granite Wash. The leaseholds together contain an estimated 463 Bcfe of proved developed producing (PDP) reserves with current output of 109 MMcfe/d. QEP also sold its Fat Cat leasehold in the Williston Basin for $35 million.

In the Cana-Woodford transaction, Cimarex Energy Co. agreed to pay $497.4 million cash. Cimarex then turned around and sold Devon Energy Corp. half of the secured acreage for $248.7 million. Cimarex's share includes 30,000 acres with estimated PDP reserves of 140 Bcfe, 64% weighted to natural gas, and current production of 35 MMcfe/d. Almost two-thirds of the reserves are associated with properties in which Cimarex already owns a working interest.

"This acquisition is a perfect bolt-on for Cimarex as it consolidates working interest ownership in the Cana core infill development project area while adding exposure to other western Oklahoma oil and gas plays," said CEO Tom Jorden.

Devon said its portion of the agreed acquisition includes current production of 5,800 boe/d and proved reserves of 23 million boe.

The Granite Wash transaction for $275 million is with EnerVest Ltd. and joint venture (JV) partner FourPoint Energy LLC. Included is acreage in the Texas counties of Hansford, Hemphill, Ochiltree, Roberts and Wheeler counties, and Oklahoma's Beckham, Custer, Dewey, Ellis, Roger Mills and Washita counties. The 47,000 net acres, adjacent to current EnerVest/Four Point production, have output of about 31.88 MMcfe/d net from 642 wells. About 52% of the acreage is PDP.

"This is another one of hopefully many acquisitions with our JV partner FourPoint," said EnerVest CEO John B. Walker. "Once we have closed this acquisition we will have spent more than $1 billion acquiring properties in the mid-continent region within the last year. We look forward to continued growth in the area."

QEP structured all of the transactions as reverse like-kind exchanges in which the tax basis of the divested properties is exchanged into the operator's recently acquired properties in the Permian Basin. In late 2013 QEP paid EnerVest $950 million for more than 26,000 net acres in the Permian's Midland sub-basin that were producing 6,700 boe/d (see Shale Daily, Dec. 9, 2013).

The Denver operator has been marketing the Midcontinent and Williston leaseholds to focus primarily on Permian Basin opportunities. QEP's plans are to increase output to more than 33,000 boe/d by 2018.

The transactions with QEP are set to close in June. The operator also is in the process of marketing its remaining Midcontinent assets, primarily in south-central Oklahoma's Mississippian Lime/Woodford Shale, as well as properties in the Arkoma and Anadarko basins, with current aggregate net production of about 21 MMcfe/d.

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