OKLAHOMA CITY, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- SandRidge Energy Inc. President James Bennett said the company was leaving the Gulf of Mexico to focus more intently on U.S. onshore operations.
SandRidge said it sold off its Gulf of Mexico business to its counterpart Fieldwood Energy LLC for $750 million in cash. SandRidge, which has headquarters in Oklahoma, said the decision was prompted by success of its drilling programs inland.
"SandRidge is now a high growth, mid-continent focused company," Bennett said in a statement Tuesday.
The company said it would invest the cash from the sale into its exploration projects inland in the United States, where it plans to drill as many as 30 more wells this year. SandRidge said it expects to produce 29.3 million barrels of oil equivalent this year.
Fieldwood's acquisition follows a trend set by an earlier deal with Apache Corp. The company said in a statement the Gulf of Mexico assets hold proved reserves of 57.2 million barrels of oil equivalent, of which 51 percent is oil.
"The acquired assets add a number of near-term, high-quality drilling prospects to our existing drilling inventory," Fieldwood President and Chief Executive Officer Matt McCarroll said in a separate statement.