HOUSTON, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- U.S. energy company Apache Corp. said it was selling off its operations in Argentina to better focus on drilling operations in North America.
Apache and its subsidiaries agreed to sell all operations in the country to YPF Sociedad Anonima for $800 million cash plus the assumption of $52 million of bank debt.
G. Steven Farris, chairman and chief executive officer at Apache, said the company spent much of the year focusing on shaping its portfolio to enhance its "deep inventory" in North America.
"This transaction is consistent with that strategy," he said in a statement Wednesday.
Apache said it averaged 256 million cubic feet of natural gas per day in terms of production and estimates its reserves in Argentina at approximately 540 billion cubic feet of natural gas.
Miquel Galuccio, president of YPF, said the acquisition is an "excellent opportunity" for his company, already operating in key gas-producing provinces in Argentina.
"We will immediately increase [the number of] rigs to speed up production, especially gas," he said in a separate statement. "And we will work with national and provincial authorities to ensure sustainable growth and development of the regional economies involved."