Melrose sells US oil field assets

Melrose Resources, the oil and gas company, has completed the sale of assets in the Permian Basin in the US to Quantum Resources Management in a deal worth $80 million (£52m).

The divested assets are interests in mature oil field leases in west Texas and east New Mexico. The fields have long producing lives with relatively material reserves but with low production levels.

The sale proceeds will primarily be used to pay down debt with the balance to fund the capital work programme which is consistent with the company's plan to reduce financial gearing towards 100 per cent by the end of 2011.

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David Thomas, Melrose's chief executive, said: "The completion of the Permian Basin divestment is an important step and we are pleased that the sale process has yielded a satisfactory result. We are now focusing our resources on other initiatives which present more material growth opportunities and are better aligned with our core strategy."