Vitol says U.S. unit to acquire Hunt Oil's Midland basin assets
By Devika Krishna Kumar
April 30 (Reuters) - Energy trader Vitol on Friday said its U.S. upstream company, Vencer Energy LLC, will acquire Hunt Oil Company's Midland Basin assets for an undisclosed sum.
Dealmaking in the U.S. shale industry has jumped in 2021 as large companies unload assets to mollify investors angry about years of weak shareholder returns. Vitol is the world's biggest independent oil trader, but this is its first large asset purchase in U.S. shale, which transformed the nation into one of the biggest global oil producers.
"We expect U.S. oil to be an important part of global energy balances for years to come, and we believe this is an opportune time for investment into an entry platform in the Americas," said Ben Marshall, Vitol's head of Americas, in a statement.
Vitol is buying 44,000 acres (178.06 square kilometers)across five counties in the Midland Basin in Texas, with current daily production of about 40,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd).
Bloomberg first reported the deal, saying the assets could fetch more than $1 billion.
Earlier this month, Vitol said it acquired a 240 megawatt (MW) wind farm from a BlackRock-managed fund for an undisclosed price, marking its first large U.S. wind asset purchase.
Some $3.4 billion in deals were struck in the first quarter, compared with $600 million a year-ago, according to consultancy Enverus.
Private companies are more willing to make deals as public companies divest non-core assets and stock prices rise, Enverus analyst Andrew Dittmar said.
(Reporting by Devika Krishna Kumar in New York, Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru and Julia Payne in London Editing by Marguerita Choy)
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