Harvest Natural Resources Inc. (HNR) has completed the sale of its oil and gas assets in the Uinta Basin of Utah to an affiliate of Newfield Exploration Co. for $215 million in cash, Houston-based HNR said Wednesday. The sale has an effective date of March 1.

Net proceeds from the sale are estimated to be $205 million after deductions for transaction-related costs, HNR said. The transaction is part of its ongoing process of exploring strategic alternatives, which was announced last September.

Newfield, which is also based in Houston, entered into the HNR deal and a separate one with an undisclosed seller earlier this year to build its Uinta portfolio (see Shale Daily, March 24). The combined acquisitions add about 70,000 net acres to the company’s unconventional oil and gas holdings in the basin, and consist of largely undeveloped acreage located adjacent to the Monument Butte field, Newfield’s largest oil asset.

Newfield, which recently raised its 2011 capital budget to $1.9 billion, intends to promptly go to work on the newly acquired Uinta assets, CEO Lee Boothby said recently (see Shale Daily, April 26).

“Our first step is to optimize,” Boothby said. “…I think that’s a prudent first step. And the second step will be acceleration.”

Harvest also announced the repayment of a $60 million term loan facility with MSD Energy Investments Private II, an affiliate of MSD Capital LP.