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    Stone Energy to sell non-core GOM shelf properties

    Stone Energy Corp. (NYSE: SGY) has a definitive agreement to sell its non-core Gulf of Mexico (GOM) conventional shelf properties to Talos Energy Offshore LLC for $200 million in cash and assumed future undiscounted abandonment liabilities estimated at $117 million. 

    These properties represented production volumes of 57 MMcfe per day for the first quarter of 2014 (58% natural gas). The estimated proved reserves associated with these properties represented 9% of Stone's year-end 2013 estimated proved reserves. Stone will retain an option for a 50% working interest in the deep drilling rights on the properties.

    Stone Energy Chairman, President, and CEO David H. Welch stated, "The sale of our non-core GOM shelf properties will allow us to further focus our efforts on GOM deep water, Gulf Coast deep gas and Appalachian projects, which we have targeted for our growth. We also retained the right to drill deep gas prospects on the divested properties. Our remaining conventional GOM shelf properties will consist of two core operated fields currently producing approximately 6,000 boe per day (86% oil), which will allow us to better focus our human capital and financial capital. Together with the sale of our two onshore south Louisiana properties in late 2013 and first-quarter 2014, we have sold approximately $300 million in non-core GOM shelf properties with over $140 million in future undiscounted abandonment liabilities."

    The effective date will be April 1, and the transaction is expected to close by early August. After the closing of this transaction, Stone will be providing updated 2014 guidance, which will adjust for the proposed divestiture. Scotia Waterous acted as the financial advisor to Stone on this transaction.

    Following this news, Global Hunter Securities analysts stated, “The sale does not come as a surprise as SGY has been marketing the properties for some time now and it divested other non-core assets earlier this year. Going forward, SGY should have a more streamlined portfolio with the company focusing capital in the deepwater GOM and Appalachian Basin (Marcellus and Utica).”

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