BP to sell Panhandle gas fields to Pantera for $390M

HOUSTON – BP has struck a deal to sell a chunk of its natural gas-rich property in the Texas Panhandle for $390 million, the company said Monday.

About 270,000 gross acres of BP’s foothold in northwest Texas will trade hands at the end of the month with Amarillo, Texas-based acquisition and development firm Pantera Energy Co., BP spokesman Brett Clanton said in a statement.

BP’s 500 operated natural gas wells in Sherman and Moore Counties, about 650 miles northwest of Houston, produce roughly 27.6 million cubic feet of natural gas equivalent per day, 43 percent of which is natural gas liquids.

In an April statement, BP said the Texas Panhandle assets it had planned to sell were “mature and better suited to a company that specializes in late-life basin operations.”

“The decision is consistent with BP’s strategy to actively manage its portfolio of assets, with a focus on value over volume,” Clanton had said. BP will still operate about 1,700 wells in the Texas Panhandle after the sale.

The sale is BP’s latest move to work through $10 billion in asset divestitures as it seeks to prune its balance sheet and focus spending on the most profitable parts of its portfolio. The divestiture program, announced in October, will boost drilling and other capital expenditures.

BP’s previous $38 billion in divestments, in 2012 and 2013, largely went to pay for oil spill costs.

The London oil company’s price tag was a hair under the amount analysis firm IHS Herold’s said in April that BP could get for the property, about $400 million to $500 million.