Constellation Energy Partners LLC (CEP) said Monday it’s looking for a buyer for its natural gas-heavy Black Warrior Basin properties in Tuscaloosa County, AL.

The Houston-based explorer has hired divestment firm Lantana Oil & Gas Partners Inc. to assist with the possible sale of Robinson’s Bend Field, a coalbed methane (CBM) operation. The properties, on 43,000 net acres, include 508 operating natural gas wells, and related leasehold interests and infrastructure. CEP’s average working interest in the wells is 100% with an average net revenue stake of 75%.

“We’ve identified the possible divestiture of our Black Warrior assets as a strategic alternative that supports our continuing focus on the oil opportunities available in our Midcontinent asset base,” said CEO Stephen R. Brunner. “We’re delighted to bring the Lantana team on board to assist with our further evaluation of this strategic alternative and the possible sale of these assets.”

Net production for the wells to date this year has averaged around 12 MMcf/d; daily production has averaged 160 MMcf/d. Total proved reserves are estimated at 280.4 Bcf with a present value of $85.6 million at the end of June, CEP noted. The Netherland Sewell and Associates reserves report is to be updated as of Sept. 30, CEP noted.

Most of CEP’s current development is in CBM gas recovery. CEP said it has more than 2,800 drilling opportunities in the U.S. onshore. Most of the company’s focus today is in the oily Cherokee Basin in Oklahoma and Kansas; it also has acreage in the Woodford Shale in the Arkoma Basin in Oklahoma and the Central Kansas Uplift in Kansas and Nebraska.

CEP was formed by Baltimore’s Constellation Energy Group Inc. in 2005. A year later CEP conducted an initial public offering and Constellation Energy became CEP’s sponsor. CEP since late 2009 has operated without a sponsor. PostRock Energy Corp. now owns a 26.4% voting interest in CEP, while Constellation Energy continues to own all of the Class C management incentive interests and Class D interests.

The Black Warrior Basin is considered the fifth largest CBM basin in the United States, with production ongoing since the early 1980s. An assessment of the undiscovered oil and natural gas resources in the Black Warrior Basin in northwestern Alabama and northeastern Mississippi was completed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in 2007. USGS found two gassy total petroleum systems (TPS) within the basin: the Chattanooga/Floyd Shale and the Pottsville coalbed formation. The five-year-old assessment estimated undiscovered reserves of 8,511 Bcf of gas, 5.9 million bbl of oil and 7.6 million bbl of total natural gas liquids.

Most (83%, or 7,956 Bcf) of the potential undiscovered gas resource was CBM gas in the Pottsville TPS. Undiscovered conventional gas resources in the Chattanooga/Floyd TPS were estimated to be about 1,455 Bcf at the mean, while conventional oil resources were estimated at about 5.9 million bbl at the mean.

According to the Energy Information Administration, CBM proved reserves in the state of Alabama stood at 1,298 Bcf in 2010 and the state saw 102 Bcf of CBM produced from within its borders during the same year.