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Apache's Canadian Assets Divestment Plan

Zacks Equity Research

U.S. energy firm Apache Corp. (APA) has decided to divest some of its Canada-based oil and gas properties for a total consideration of $112 million. The sale is expected to be complete in two different transactions with closure likely in the fourth quarter of 2013.

The properties that Apache is willing to dispose are mainly dry gas producing areas, situated at Saskatchewan and Alberta, Canada. The acreage consist of roughly 4,000 operated and 1,300 non operated wells, whose average production in the second quarter of 2013 was 38 million cubic feet of natural gas per day and 750 barrels of liquid per day.  

Considering Apache’s recent sale of oil and gas properties in Egypt, Gulf of Mexico and Canada, the company’s total divestment proceeds now stands at around $7.2 billion. Apache plans to use the proceeds to increase its financial flexibility, reduce debt and generate funds to repurchase shares.

The Houston-based energy firm is focusing on increasing liquid output from its remaining assets in Western Sedimentary Basin, based in Canada. The company is also concentrating on the Kitimat LNG project through which it plans to capitalize extensive unconventional resources located in northern British Columbia.

Apache, which is engaged in the exploration, development and production of gas and liquids, currently holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), implying that it is expected to perform in line with the broader U.S. equity market over the next one to three months.  

Meanwhile, one can look at oil and gas exploration and production firms like Matador Resources Company (MTDR), Range Resources Corporation (RRC) and SM Energy Company (SM) that offer value. All the stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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