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QEP cancels Williston Basin deal with Vantage on lower crude prices

Feb 20 (Reuters) - Oil and gas producer QEP Resources Inc said on Wednesday it was not going forward with the deal to sell its Williston Basin assets to Vantage Energy Acquisition Corp, following a fall in crude prices.

U.S. light crude prices have fallen more than 25 percent since their highs in October on the back of oversupply concerns in the market.

The company had said https://www.reuters.com/article/us-qep-resources-vantage-energy/oil-producer-qep-to-unload-williston-basin-assets-focus-on-permian-basin-idUSKCN1NC1FS in November it would sell its assets in North Dakota and Montana to Vantage for up to $1.73 billion in a bid to focus on the Permian.

Texas and New Mexico's Permian oil field is at the heart of a shale boom in the United States that has pushed oil production to record highs and made the country world's top crude producer.

QEP reported a net loss of $629.3 million or $2.66 per share in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with a profit of $150.3 million or 62 cents per share, a year earlier.

The loss included an impairment charge of $1.16 billion related to the signing of an agreement for the divestiture of the Williston Basin assets.

Going forward, QEP said it would reduce its general and administrative expense by about 45 percent, when comparing 2018 to 2020, with most reductions being implemented in the first half of 2019.

It is also exploring strategic alternatives including a sale of the company, QEP said in a statement. Last month, hedge fund Elliott Management Corp offered to buy the company for $2.07 billion. (Reporting by Debroop Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)