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Devon selling Barnett Shale assets for $553 million to undisclosed buyer

Devon Energy on Thursday announced plans to sell the southern portion ofits North Texas Barnett Shale position for $553 million to an undisclosedbuyer.

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Net production from the assets, located primarily in Johnson County,currently average 200 MMcfe/d. The Oklahoma City-based producer estimatedfield-level cash flow from these assets, excluding overhead costs, to beabout $100 million in 2018.

"Combined with other recent asset sales, divestiture proceeds associatedwith our "2020 Vision" have now reached $1 billion," President and CEODave Hager said in a statement.

The company's remaining assets in the Barnett Shale, primarily located inDenton, Wise and Tarrant counties, have an estimated current productionof 680 MMcfe/d and include an inventory of about 1,500 potentiallocations, consisting of undrilled inventory and horizontal refracturingopportunities, Devon said.

In its Q4 2017 earnings call last month, executives said Devon, the10th-largest US gas producer, would seek to sell off its non-core assets,such as the Barnett Shale, in order to focus more attention on thePermian Basin's Delaware sub-territory and Oklahoma 's STACK play.

Devon said it expects the deal to close in the second quarter.

In a separate statement, Devon said its board had authorized a $1 billionshare repurchase program and a 33% increase in its quarterly cashdividend.

"We are very confident about Devon's future and, as market conditionspermit, we will continue to pursue opportunities to further increase cashreturns to our shareholders," Hager said.

-- Jim Magill, jim.magill@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Gail Roberts, newsdesk@spglobal.com