Noble Energy To Sell 50% Stake In Cone Gathering


May 18 (Reuters) - Noble Energy Inc said it would sell its 50 percent stake in privately-held Cone Gathering LLC to Quantum Energy Partners for $765 million in cash, as the U.S. oil and gas producer looks to shift its focus to low-cost drilling in oil-rich basins.

The sale includes 21.7 million units in Cone Gathering LLC and represents 33.5 percent stake in Cone Midstream Partners LP , which owns natural gas pipelines in Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Including this transaction, Noble will realize more than $1 billion in total value from its Marcellus midstream business, Chief Executive David Stover said in a statement on Thursday.

The latest announcement comes less than three weeks after Noble said it would sell all its natural gas production assets in the Marcellus shale field to expand in oil-rich Permian Basin.

Earlier this year, Noble bought smaller rival Clayton Williams Energy Inc for about $2.7 billion to enhance its presence in the Permian.

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of this year, Noble said.

BofA Merrill Lynch was the sole financial adviser to Noble on the deal and Vinson & Elkins LLP served as legal counsel.

Shares of the company were marginally down in premarket trading on Thursday.

(Reporting by John Benny in Bengaluru; Editing by Martina D'Couto and Arun Koyyur)


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