Shale Driller Unloading Gas Fields for Pennies on the Dollar

Range Resources Corp. sold its Louisiana shale fields for about one-tenth of what it paid for them just four years ago as depressed natural gas prices hammered the heavily indebted driller.

Range agreed to sell the assets acquired in its 2016 takeover of Memorial Resource Development Corp. to Castleton Resources LLC for $245 million, according to statements by both companies Monday. Range stands to reap an additional $90 million in the future, contingent on higher commodity prices.

The $335 million potential total value compares to the $3.3 billion Range originally paid in an all-stock deal for the fields. The biggest-ever deal for Range turned into a bust when the company’s geologists and engineers soured on the quality of the rocks in early 2018.

Range fell 3% in post-market trading. The sale is expected to close this month and the effective date will be backdated to Feb. 1, according to the statement. Castleton Resources is owned by Castleton Commodities International LLC and Tokyo Gas Co.

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