KKR, Premier Agree to Buy Shale Properties From WPX Energy

KKR & Co., which teamed up two years ago with Premier Natural Resources LLC to buy oil and gas assets in North America, agreed to acquire properties in the Barnett shale and Arkoma basin from WPX Energy Inc. for $306 million.

KKR Natural Resources, the firm’s joint venture with Premier, will buy 27,000 net acres in north central Texas and eastern Oklahoma and 66,000 net acres in the Arkoma basin from Tulsa, Oklahoma-based WPX, the New York-based private equity firm said in an e-mailed statement today.

“We see attractive opportunities to invest behind the development of domestic energy resources and remain excited about the opportunity to grow our natural resources platform,” Jonathan Smidt, Head of KKR Natural Resources, said.

KKR, the buyout firm run by Henry Kravis and George Roberts, along with rivals including Blackstone Group LP are buying energy assets as the price of oil climbs and the world’s largest energy companies sell mature oil and gas fields to finance new exploration.

Today’s purchase is KKR Natural Resources’s third in the Barnett shale, KKR said today. The properties have a current net production of about 67 million cubic feet per day, it said.