With focus on Bakken, Hess sells out of Utica for $400M

By Luke Geiver | June 29, 2018

In a deal designed to enhance its opportunities in the Bakken, Hess Corp. is selling out of the Utica shale. For $400 million, Ascent Resources—Utica LLC is acquiring the Utica assets owned and operated by Hess.

The deal includes nearly 39,000 acres, 26,000 of which are undeveloped acres. Roughly two thirds of the 14,000 barrels of oil equivalent produced from the acreage is in the form of residue gas.

“We continue to focus our portfolio by divesting lower return, non-core assets as part of our strategy to deliver long term value to shareholders,” CEO John Hess said. “Proceeds from this transaction will be used to invest in our higher return growth opportunities in Guyana and the Bakken,” he said, “and to fund the company’s previously announced share repurchase program.”

In addition to the Utica sale, Hess also said it will retain interests in Denmark. Previous offers for the acreage in the South Arne Field did not meet the company’s expectations.

Earlier this year, Hess detailed a new completion strategy that has helped the operator increase production in the Bakken 12 percent compared to the previous year’s production rate.