WPX Energy to buy privately held RKI E&P in $2.35 billion deal

WPX Energy Inc. agreed to buy privately held RKI Exploration & Production LLC of Oklahoma City for $2.35 billion in a move intended to help WPX produce more oil as the Tulsa independent shifts its focus from natural gas to oil.

The acquisition also strengthens WPX’s holdings in the western US, said WPX Chief Executive Officer Rick Muncrief. WPX is getting RKI’s 92,000 acres of leaseholds and associated infrastructure in Loving County, Tex., and Eddy County, NM, both in the Permian basin oil window.

Muncrief said the company’s goal is for oil to account for 36% of WPX production by 2017 compared with less than 10% in 2012. Previously, WPX sold at least half of its gas-producing assets in the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania and also its interests in Argentina.

Terms of the WPX-RKI transaction exclude RKI’s Powder River basin assets in Wyoming, which RKI plans to divest before closing the WPX deal.

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