UPDATE 2-Penn West looks to sell up to $2 bln of assets before 2015

Wed Nov 6, 2013 9:39am EST
 
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* Sees asset sales of $485 mln closing by year-end

* Sets 2014 capital budget $900 mln

* 3rd-quarter profit C$0.06/share vs year-ago loss C$0.14

* Shares ease 3.3 percent in early trading

Nov 6 (Reuters) - Penn West Petroleum Ltd , one of Canada's biggest conventional oil producers, said it aimed to sell up to $2 billion of assets before 2015 as part of a plan to focus on projects centered on the Cardium field in Alberta.

Struggling with weak gas prices, Penn West has undertaken a series of steps, including layoffs and a dividend cut, since June when former Marathon Oil executive David Roberts was appointed chief executive.

Penn West said on Wednesday it would focus on light-oil projects in Alberta's Cardium, Viking and Slave Point fields as it strived to increase production of liquids to about 80 percent of total output by 2018.

Penn West's shares were down 3.3 percent at C$11.25 in early trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The company has already lined up buyers for about $485 million of assets in deals expected to close before the end of the year, Penn West said.   Continued...