Gulfport Energy Corp. has dumped more noncore assets as part of a broader effort to simplify its portfolio and better control costs, announcing the sale of its legacy assets on the Gulf Coast to an undisclosed buyer for $54.1 million.
The company divested more than 10,000 net acres in Southern Louisiana’s Hackberry Field, which stretches from the coast to shallow waters offshore. The assets produced 1,500 boe/d in the first half of the year, or less than 1% of the company’s total volumes during that time.
The cash proceeds from the sale were less than expected by financial analysts as the company received $9.2 million in proceeds and retained overriding royalty interests, along with the possibility of payments based on commodity prices over the next two years. The buyer agreed to assume $29 million in plugging and abandonment liabilities as well. The sale closed in July.
Gulfport also sold its remaining interest in Tatex Thailand II, an overseas exploration and production company, for $1.9 million in a deal that closed during the second quarter. As it zeroes in on core assets in the SCOOP, aka the South Central Oklahoma Oil Province, and the Utica Shale, Gulfport has other assets on the table that could be sold.
“The monetization process of certain water infrastructure assets Gulfport holds across our SCOOP position is ongoing,” CEO David Wood said of water handling and recycling facilities in the play. “As expected, the process has been very competitive, and we are comfortable with a minimum value of what we expect to realize on the transaction.”
The company also holds nearly 10 million shares of Mammoth Energy Services Inc. that could be sold. The latest divestitures follow a smaller sale announced in May of Marcellus Shale rights overlying a portion of Gulfport’s acreage in southeastern Ohio that’s expected to close by the end of the year.
The monetization process was announced earlier this when the company said it would cut spending as natural gas prices came under pressure. While Gulfport reaffirmed its $565-600 million budget on Friday, it spent nearly 80% of that through the first six months of the year over an active stretch to set it up for a ramp in production in the coming months. Turn-in-lines are expected to drive production growth going forward, Wood said.
Non-operated capital expenditures in the Utica Shale could find the budget spilling over, however, as they came in higher than expected. In order to stay within its guidance range, the company intends to recover a portion of those costs through trades or monetization of some nonoperated interests. Wood said that while he was “quite disappointed” in the overspend, the company has been able to successfully address similar issues in the past.
Management remains bullish about the Utica assets, however, saying they have no plans to sell any acreage there.
Gulfport produced 1.359 Bcfe/d in the second quarter, up 2.1% from the year-ago period and 8% from 1Q2019. The company produced 90% natural gas, 7% natural gas liquids and 3% oil during the second quarter.
The Utica accounted for more than 1 Bcfe/d of production during the period, while the SCOOP accounted for about 298 MMcfe/d. Gulfport is running one rig in each play and plans to drop the Utica rig as planned in the coming weeks after it completes this year’s drilling program there.
Gulfport reported second quarter net income of $235 million ($1.47/share), compared to net income of $111.3 million (64 cents) in the year-ago period. Revenue increased to $459 million from $252.7 million over the same time.
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