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A rig contracted by Apache Corp drills a horizontal well in a search for oil and natural gas in the Wolfcamp shale located in the Permian Basin in West Texas, Oct. 29, 2013.

Reuters

Apache Corp. is selling oil and gas properties in Western Canada that could be worth more than $800-million as the U.S. energy company trims its operations around the world.

Apache has hired Scotia Waterous to handle the sale of the Provost-area assets, which produce more than 9,500 barrels of oil equivalent a day after royalties. Annualized cash flow is pegged at $119-million, according to the merger and acquisition specialist's website.

Similar assets, in the oil-rich Viking and Mannville formations, have recently sold for five to seven times cash flow, one industry source said.

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The sale follows the company's decision in August to exit the Kitimat LNG project, a partnership with Chevron Corp. It decided to jettison its interest in Canadian West Coast proposal, and another liquefied natural gas project in Australia, after activist investor Jana Partners LLC urged it to streamline operations.

Earlier in the year, Apache sold another package of Alberta and British Columbia properties for $374-million.

Its moves are similar to those of fellow U.S. producer Devon Energy Corp., which sold its conventional Western Canadian assets to Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. for $3.1-billion early this year. The sale would add to a long list of merger and acquisition deals in the Canadian oil patch this year, as commodity prices strengthened and access to capital improved.

Following the sale of the Provost assets, Houston-based Apache will concentrate its efforts in Canada on acreage it owns in the liquids-rich Montney and Duvernay formations of northwestern Alberta, formations known for huge reserves and tricky and expensive drilling.

According to a conference presentation in early September by Apache CEO Steve Farris, the company produced 68,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day in those areas in the second quarter.

The Provost assets comprise 1.1 million gross acres with an average working interest of more than 91.5 per cent. The assets are being sold with pipelines, gas plants and other equipment.

According to the Scotia Waterous website, a data room with confidential financial and operating information is open and non-binding proposals are due in Mid-October.

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