(Adds details, background)
May 2 U.S. oil and gas producer Noble Energy Inc
said on Tuesday it would sell all its natural gas
production assets in the Marcellus shale field for $1.23
billion, as it shifts focus to liquids-rich, higher-margin
The company said its interest in CONE Midstream Partners LP
, which owns natural gas pipelines, was not part of the
Noble did not name the buyer.
Oil and gas companies have been pushing into oil-rich basins
such as the Permian in West Texas, in a bid to increase exposure
to the low-cost drilling, following a more than two year slump
in oil prices.
Earlier this year, Noble bought smaller rival Clayton
Williams Energy Inc for about $2.7 billion to enhance its
presence in the Permian.
The Marcellus deal comprises an upfront cash payment of
$1.13 billion and $100 million more contingent on natural gas
Noble said proceeds from the deal will be used to pay down
debt it had incurred to buy Clayton Williams.
The company expects to close the deal by the end of the
BofA Merrill Lynch was Noble's financial adviser while
Porter & Hedges provided legal counsel.
(Reporting by Sayantani Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak
Dasgupta and Sai Sachin Ravikumar)