Energy Business

Freeport-McMoRan Sells California Assets for Up to $742 Million

Mining and oil and gas producer Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE: FCX) announced Friday morning that it has sold its onshore assets in California to privately held Sentinel Peak Resources California for cash consideration of $592 million at closing. There will be an additional payment of $50 million for each of 2018, 2019 and 2020 if the price of Brent crude averages $70 or more in that year. Purchasers are also assuming $100 million in future abandonment costs associated with the properties.

Freeport said it plans to use net proceeds from the sale to repay outstanding debt, and the company does not expect to record a material gain or loss from the transaction. The effective date of the transaction is July 1, 2016, and the deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

According to the announcement, Freeport’s portfolio of oil and gas assets (following this sale and the previously announced sale of deepwater Gulf of Mexico assets) include oil and natural gas production onshore in south Louisiana and on the shelf of the Gulf of Mexico, oil production offshore California, and natural gas production in central Wyoming. In the second quarter of 2016, these properties produced an average of 8,600 barrels of oil and natural gas liquids per day and 78 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.

Prior to this announcement, Freeport had sold more than $6 billion in assets this year, including the $2 billion sale of deepwater Gulf of Mexico assets to Anadarko in a transaction that awaits completion.

Freeport’s stock traded up about 2.4% Friday morning, at $9.88 in a 52-week range of $3.52 to $14.06. The consensus 12-month price target is $11.38.