HOUSTON ( The Deal) -- As part of its massive divestiture program under new CEO Ben Van Beurden, Royal Dutch Shell ( RDS.A) said Thursday it agreed to sell oil and natural gas properties in the U.S. for $2.1 billion.
Newly formed Vine Oil & Gas LP and Blackstone Group (BX) affiliate Blackstone Energy Partners said they agreed to acquire natural gas properties in Louisiana's Haynesville field from Shell affiliates SWEPI LP and Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc. for $1.2 billion. Ultra Petroleum (UPL) said it agreed to acquire Shell's Pinedale field properties in western Wyoming for $925 million in cash and its 155,000 net acres in the Marcellus and Utica shales in Pennsylvania.
"We continue to restructure and focus our North America shale oil and gas portfolio to deliver the most value in the longer term," Shell upstream Americas director Marvin Odum said in a statement. "With this announcement we are adding highly attractive exploration acreage, where we have impressive well results in the Utica, and divesting our more mature Pinedale and Haynesville dry gas positions."
Simmons & Co. International said that, not including the Marcellus property trade, Ultra is paying around $30,000 per barrel of oil equivalent per day, in line with the most recent comparables in the area (for instance, Jonah transactions by Linn Energy LLC and TPG). If value is given to the divested properties or adjusting for the 100 million cubic feet equivalent per day given up from the Marcellus acreage, the deal looks slightly more expensive.