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Freeport buys into Gulf, a day after Texas sale

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May 8, 2014 08:49 AM EST | AP


PHOENIX (AP) — A day after selling a sizeable chunk of energy-rich land in Texas, Freeport-McMoRan announced the acquisition of $1.4 billion in assets in the Gulf of Mexico as it shifts some of its focus to deep-water exploration.

The assets, which are being acquired by its oil-and-gas subsidiary, had been owned by Apache Corp. and include the Lucius and Heidelberg oil production development projects and 11 exploration leases.

Freeport, a copper and gold mining company based in Phoenix, said Thursday that it will fund the transaction with money from the $3.1 billion sale of its Eagle Ford Shale assets in Texas. The company announced the sale of those assets Wednesday to a subsidiary of Encana Corp. of Canada.

Freeport has been looking more to the Gulf of Mexico as oil prices rise and, at the same time, trimming debt, as it sells off about $4 billion of its energy assets.

The price for a barrel of oil rose above $100 this week after a surprise decline in U.S. crude supplies.

Shares of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. fell 9 cents to $33.75 before the market open.