US-based exploration and production (E&P) company Ovintiv has agreed to sell a part of its Uinta and Bakken Basins assets to two undisclosed buyers for around $250m.

The Uinta Basin assets include about 3,000 gross vertical wells, which are mature waterflood assets, incurring operating expenses of around $35 per barrel of oil equivalent (BOE).

The Bakken assets include about 88 wells, located primarily in Richland County, Montana, around 30 miles (48km) from the company’s primary Bakken position.

Ovintiv said that transaction is expected to close in the third quarter, subject to customary closing conditions, regulatory approvals and other adjustments.

Upon completion of the transaction, the company would retain nearly 130,000 largely contiguous net acres in the horizontal oil-rich shale portion of the play.

It has sold 5,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (MBOE/d) from the assets, including 4,900 barrels per day (Mbbls/d) of oil and condensate, as of April this year, said Ovintiv.

Ovintiv CEO Brendan McCracken said: “These transactions continue our track record of portfolio optimization, and this means we will double our cash returns to shareholders starting now.

“This enables our shareholders to directly benefit from these non-core asset sales and our continuing strong performance.”

Through the sale agreements and strong financial and operational results, Ovintiv aims to advance the doubling of its cash returns to shareholders.

The company plans to increase its returns to shareholders to 50% of the previous quarter’s non-GAAP free cash flow after base dividends.

It intends to update its 2022 production and total cost guidance to include the impact of asset sales in its second-quarter results.

Ovintiv said that its capital guidance for 2022 will remain unchanged.

In March last year, Ovintiv signed an agreement with Denver-based exploration and production company Validus Energy to divest its Eagle Ford assets, for $880m.

Eagle Ford is a sedimentary rock formation deposited during the Cenomanian and Turonian ages of the Late Cretaceous, located in south Texas, US.

The company estimated Eagle Ford assets to produce around 21,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (MBOE/d), including 14 Mbbls/d of crude and condensate, for the full-year 2021.