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Independent energy company, Noble Energy Inc. (NBL - Analyst Report) announced the closure of its Mid-continent assets sale in the Oklahoma and Texas region to United Petroleum Corporation, a business wing of Tulsa-based, Unit Corporation (UNT - Snapshot Report).

The agreement to divest these oil and natural gas assets for an amount of $617 million by Noble Energy was previously announced on July 11, 2012. Noble Energy currently gained roughly $594 million from this transaction after including certain adjustments, effective April 1, 2012.

The transaction inhered the sale of 84,000 net acres of land in the Granite Wash province of Cleveland and the Marmaton plays in western Oklahoma as well as in the Texas Panhandle areas. The projected net oil reserves were approximately 44 million barrels of oil equivalent.

The string of asset sales undertaken by Noble Energy in the first half of 2012 is part of its strategic divestiture plan to restructure the company’s operations to meet the growing demands of a changing domestic and international oil and natural gas market. Prior to this, the company, in early September 2012, completed the sale of some of its oil and natural gas properties in the Permian Basin to Houston-based oil and gas company, Sheridan Holding Company II, LLC for $309 million.

Going forward, Noble Energy intends to utilize the proceeds from these sales towards its core operations in the Denver/Julesburg Basin in Colorado and Wyoming, which will fetch the company higher returns. Noble Energy’s primary operations are mainly based in the U.S. with some of it in offshore Eastern Mediterranean and offshore West Africa.

The company expects third quarter 2012 sales volumes to average 242–250 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (MBoe/d).The company expects its sales volumes to improve due to higher contribution from Galapagos, continuation of the drilling programs in DJ Basin and Marcellus Shale, and increased sales in Israel.

The Zacks Consensus Estimates for the third quarter and full year 2012 currently stand at $1.05 per share and $4.93 per share, respectively.

Noble Energy’s active peer, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (APC - Analyst Report) is in talks to sell some or its entire stake (36.5%) in the offshore gas fields of Mozambique to Royal Dutch Shell Plc. (RDS.A - Analyst Report). The company on initiation of the auction process could receive $8 billion from this sale.

Based in Houston, Texas, Noble Energy is an independent exploration and production (E&P) company, having high-grade hydrocarbon assets across the U.S. and several international locations. With market capitalization of $16.79 billion, the company has 1,876 total employees. The company presently has a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold rating).
 

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