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Earthstone Divests Bakken Assets to Focus on Midland Basin

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Upstream energy company Earthstone Energy, Inc. (ESTE - Free Report) has agreed to divest its Bakken assets for around $27 million in an all-cash deal. Per the company, the effective date is Dec 1. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2017.

Earthstone Energy is yet to disclose the name of the buyer and financial details of the deal.

The company has non-operating interests in Bakken assets. Its Bakken assets comprised around 5,900 net core acres mainly in the McKenzie and Dunn counties of North Dakota’s Williston Basin. The assets in Williston produced 876 barrels of oil equivalent per day (Boe/d) in the third quarter of 2017.

The divestment is in line with the company's strategy of focusing more on the Midland Basin. The company currently owns around 27,000 net acres in the Midland Basin along with production capacity of about 7,000 Boe/d. The company started a one-rig drilling program in the Midland Basin acreage in early-2017 and has plans to add a second rig in the basin in 2018.

About the Company

Earthstone Energy formerly known as Basic Earth Science Systems, Inc., is an independent oil and gas exploration and production company. It primarily focuses on the Montana and North Dakota portions of the Williston Basin. The company is based in Denver, CO.

The company beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the last two quarters.  

Price Performance

Earthstone Energy has lost 37.2% of its value year to date against 22.2% growth of its industry.

Zacks Rank and Stock to Consider

Earthstone Energy has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the oil and energy sector include ConocoPhillips (COP - Free Report) , Denbury Resources Inc. (DNR - Free Report) and Northern Oil and Gas, Inc. (NOG - Free Report) . All the stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Houston, TX-based ConocoPhillips is a leading global exploration and production company. The company’s sales for 2017 are expected to increase 24.4% year over year. The company delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 152.3% in the last four quarters.

Plano, TX-based Denbury Resources is an oil and gas company. The company’s sales for the fourth quarter of 2017 are expected to increase 4.8% year over year. The company delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 125% in the last four quarters.

Minnetonka, MN -based Northern Oil and Gas is an independent energy company. The company’s sales for the fourth quarter of 2017 are expected to increase 44.8% year over year. The company delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 175% in the last four quarters.

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