Linn Energy continues to scrape away unwanted, noncore acreage—this time in Wyoming—and should please investors with a plan to purchase $400 million of stock.

Linn said Oct. 4 it agreed to sell its Washakie Field asset to an undisclosed buyer for $200 million, before closing adjustments.

Baird Equity Research noted in an Oct. 4 report that Linn’s year-to-date asset sales from its wide-ranging portfolio have generated $1.3 billion in gross proceeds. Linn has already purchased 4.6 million shares for $175 million.

“This latest sale of noncore assets is another step forward in the ongoing transformation of Linn from a highly levered production-based MLP to a low-cost, streamlined growth-oriented enterprise,” Linn Energy Chairman Evan Lederman said in a news release.

Linn’s agreement sells off about 163,000 net acres in the Washakie Field. The field’s second-quarter production average about 66 million cubic feet equivalent per day (MMcfe/d) and annualized cash flow of about $35 million before certain expenses.

Linn has more to sell, including Permian and Williston basin acreage as well the Rockies’ Altamont Bluebell and Oklahoma waterfloods.

In May, Linn Energy president and CEO Mark E. Ellis said the company is aggressively purchasing higher-return opportunities in the Scoop/Stack/Merge “where we are increasing rig activity and building out our midstream business.”

The company has repurchased shares at an average of $34.06 per share as it reshapes the former MLP around a Scoop/Stack/Merge centerpiece.

Linn followed up with a June joint venture agreement with Citizen Energy II LLC to form Roan Resources LLC, a company that will focus solely on the Midcontinent’s plays.

“The formation of Roan is a game-changing transaction for Linn that creates a scaled Merge/Scoop/Stack pure play that competes with the very best unconventional opportunities in the country,” Lederman said then.

The Washakie Field sale is expected to close in fourth-quarter 2017 with an effective date of Aug. 1, Linn said.

Jefferies LLC acted as sole financial adviser and Kirkland & Ellis LLP as legal counsel during the transaction.

 

Darren Barbee can be reached at dbarbee@hartenergy.com.