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Devon Energy Corp. (DVN) to Liquidate Undervalued Assets, Emphasize Onshore Infrastructure

Devon Energy Corp. revealed details of its strategy to monetize all outstanding Gulf of Mexico and international assets today, Monday, Nov. 16. Following this divestiture, DVN – an Oklahoma based energy company engaged in oil and gas exploration, will channel the capital generated into its U.S. and Canada onshore infrastructure.

DVN will elaborate further on its bold new strategy to effectively trim its cost structure and sculpt its balance sheet in a conference call webcast on the DVN corporate site at 9 a.m. CST (10 EST). On the agenda for this conference call will be the 2010 outlook and capital budget, a revised analysis of DVN’s resource potential, and the repositioning of the company following its divestiture of assets.

The assets in question comprise roughly 7% of the company-wide proved reserves for year-end 2009, which is 2.8 billion barrels of oil equivalent (Boe). DVN’s portfolio of oil and natural gas liquids represents approximately 43% of total estimated proved reserves based on year-end 2009 data. Reserves, which are part of the Gulf of Mexico and international assets to be monetized, represent a pro forma 41% of that total, meaning that post-divestiture the balance between liquids and natural gas won’t change much at all.

DVN anticipates asset divestment will begin in first quarter 2010, when data rooms will be ready to go, and expects to achieve process completion before the end of 2010. DVN estimates $4.5-7.5 billion in after-tax proceeds from the divestiture, noting that earnings, reserves, cash flow, and production should all show sustained benefit from the repositioning effort.

Chairman and CEO of DVN, J. Larry Nichols, stated that his company’s success has led to an “overabundance of opportunities”, and that the monetization of these assets would “optimize value for shareholders” by realizing the true value of those assets. Nichols added that his analysis showed these assets to be undervalued vis-à-vis DVN’s stock price, and that rolling over the value thereof into the overall operation would allow his company to “unleash the growth potential that resides within our world-class onshore assets”.

Nichols emphasized the sustainable, organic growth potential enabled by this strategic move, saying DVN could proceed post-divestiture “with internally generated funds” and that DVN would have “an even stronger balance sheet”.

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