Apache Looking at All Options for $2 Billion of Asset Sales

Apache Corp., the fourth-largest U.S. independent oil and natural gas producer by market value, said its entire portfolio is up for review as it pursues at least $2 billion in asset sales.

“We’re looking at all our options,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steve Farris said in an interview at the Howard Weil energy conference in New Orleans today. “We’re repositioning our portfolio and looking at what the long-term benefit” would be for shareholders, he said.

Apache spent more than $16 billion buying assets from 2010 to 2012, increasing holdings in the U.S., Canada, Egypt and the North Sea. The Houston-based company said last month it planned to sell about $2 billion of assets, possibly helping to pay down debt. The total value of asset sales will be at least $2 billion and “could be whatever we decide to put on the market,” Farris said.

One potential sale is the company’s deep-water Gulf of Mexico assets. Apache’s portfolio has changed since the company obtained deep-water Gulf assets through the $2.7 billion acquisition of Mariner Energy Inc. in 2010, Farris said. Apache now has stronger positions in the onshore Permian and Anadarko basins in the U.S., he said.

Whether Apache sells assets in the deep-water Gulf depends on the market for the holdings, he said. Apache at year-end owned 900,000 gross acres in the Gulf of Mexico deep-water region, according to the company’s annual report released March 1. The region contributed 2 percent of its total oil and gas production in 2012, according to the report.

Farris, 65, said Apache also reviews its succession plan every year. The company has a “very deep bench,” Farris said, adding that he has no plans to leave.

ConocoPhillips, Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and EOG Resources Inc. are the largest U.S. independent oil and gas producers by market value, meaning they don’t have refineries or chemical units.

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