Energy Business

Devon Energy Dumps Canadian Assets for $2.8 Billion

Drilling rig
Source: Thinkstock
Independent oil and gas producer Devon Energy Inc. (NYSE: DVN) announced Wednesday morning that it had sold the majority of its Canadian assets to Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (NYSE: CNQ) for $2.8 billion. The transaction includes most of Devon’s conventional assets and does not include the company’s holdings in the oil sands and heavy oil regions of Alberta.

Devon was involved in the biggest energy-related acquisition of 2013 when it paid $6 billion to acquire assets in the Eagle Ford play in south Texas from privately held GeoSouthern Energy. In that transaction, Devon acquired risked recoverable assets of 400 million barrels of oil equivalent at a cost of around $15 a barrel. At the time of the acquisition, production totaled 53,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day.

In Wednesday’s sale, Devon is receiving about $16.50 a barrel for 170 million barrels of oil equivalent and plans to use the cash to repay the debt it incurred for the Eagle Ford purchase. Devon will repatriate the funds immediately and expects net proceeds of $2.7 billion after currency exchange effects and taxes.

Devon stock hit an all-time high around $120 a share in the heady days of 2008 when natural gas prices rose to more than $13 per thousand cubic feet. But that did not last long, and gas prices tumbled to below $3 per thousand cubic feet in 2011 and 2012 as domestic production boomed. Devon has been parting with what it calls non-core assets for more than a year now, and it expects to have completed the process by the end of 2014.

Devon shares closed at $62.91 on Tuesday night and rose 1.68% to $63.97 in after-hours trading. This announced sale is unlikely to push the stock above the 52-week range of $50.81 to $66.92, but stranger things have happened.