(US) - Pioneer Natural Resources USA Inc. has entered into a purchase and sale agreement through which Marubeni Offshore Production (USA) Inc., a subsidiary of Marubeni Corp., will acquire certain deepwater GoM assets from Pioneer for cash proceeds of $1.3 billion.
The transaction has an effective date of Jan. 1, 2006 and is expected to close in March or April.
The transaction includes Pioneer's interest in three producing projects (the Falcon Corridor, Devils Tower and Canyon Express), two potential development projects (Ozona Deep and Thunder Hawk), and 88 exploration blocks.
Pioneer is retaining its 55% operated interest in Green Canyon Blocks 299 and 300 where it drilled the Clipper discovery announced in October 2005.
Pioneer has a rig contracted to drill appraisal wells on the discovery in 2Q 2006 and is currently evaluating possible development scenarios.
Scott D. Sheffield, Pioneer's chairman and CEO, states, "We are pleased to have completed this transaction with Marubeni while retaining the opportunity to utilize our commercialization expertise to develop Clipper.
"With the completion of our divestitures and our commitment to complete the $1 billion share repurchase program, we are successfully delivering on the strategic initiatives we announced last September.
"Approximately 92% of our production and 98% of our proved reserves will now be located in onshore oil and gas basins in North America.
These core assets, coupled with several emerging resource plays, provide a strong platform for the company to begin delivering consistent, profitable growth over the next five years."