Continuing its push to divest non-core assets across the country in favor of its properties in the Utica and Marcellus shales, Magnum Hunter Resources Corp. has completed the sale of its non-operated working interests in Divide County, ND, for more than $23 million.

The move comes as no surprise after the company said it was marketing the 2,852 net acres during its second quarter conference call (see Shale Daily, April 11). Magnum sold the Williston Basin assets to a privately-held company affiliated with Formation Energy LP. The properties, Magnum said, account for 170 boe/d of production.

“The sale of this additional package of non-core, non-operated properties located in North Dakota continues our stated game plan and now increases our total divestitures so far this year to approximately $125 million in gross proceeds,” said CEO Gary Evans. “The proceeds of these divestitures have been used to reduce our overall indebtedness and to fund our growing operations in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays of West Virginia and Ohio.”

Evans added that the company expects additional non-core sales that are currently being negotiated to continue throughout the year. Magnum has been transitioning to an Appalachian pure-play for more than a year now, with proceeds from sales in Canada, South Texas and non-core assets in West Virginia being plowed back into core Utica and Marcellus assets through the first half of this year (see Shale Daily, April 22).

Earlier this month, Magnum tested its first Utica well in West Virginia, the Stewart Winland 1300U, at a rate of 46.6 MMcf/d (see Shale Daily, Sept. 25). That well had one of the best initial production rates yet seen in the Appalachian Basin and followed another test in Ohio at the company’s Stalder 3UH, which tested at 32.5 MMcf/d in February (see Shale Daily, Feb. 14).