North Dakota confirms Lime Rock as buyer of Occidental’s Bakken acreage: Reuters

North Dakota’s oil regulator on Wednesday identified Lime Rock Resources as the buyer of Occidental Petroleum Corp’s (OXY.N) North Dakota oil operations, confirming what Oxy’s executives had yet to disclose publicly.

The deal, worth about $600 million, is expected to close by the end of the month.

Reuters first reported in October that Oxy had agreed to sell all of its North Dakota shale oil acreage and assets to Lime Rock, a private equity fund, as it focuses capital elsewhere.

In an Oct. 28 earnings conference call with investors, Oxy Chief Executive Steve Chazen did not identify the private equity fund as the buyer, although he confirmed the price.

The state’s Department of Mineral Resources said on Wednesday that Oxy had filed paperwork to transfer well bonds to Lime Rock as the buyer. The transfers involve two entities controlled by Oxy’s parent company.

North Dakota requires bonding for oil wells.

The deal includes all of Oxy’s roughly 300,000 acres in the state, including a 21,000 square-foot regional office built three years ago.

The company has been the 16th-largest oil producer in the state for some time, lagging much-smaller companies including WPX Energy Inc (WPX.N) and Oasis Petroleum Inc (OAS.N).

Shares of Oxy rose about 1 percent to $67.95 in trading on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Photo courtesy of Reuters/Andrew Yates