11/01/2012 07:11 EDT | Updated 01/01/2013 05:12 EST

Enerplus to sell oil assets in Manitoba for $220 million, will repay debt

CALGARY - Enerplus Corp. (TSX: ERF) says it has a deal to sell all of its interests in oil producing assets in Manitoba for about $220 million.

The Calgary-based energy company said Thursday the assets, located in the Virden/Daly region, produce about 1,600 barels of oil per day of crude.

Enerplus said the assets were considered non-core "given the limited near-term growth potential under our current capital allocation plans, along with the high recovery of oil to date and lower working interests."

"Improving the focus, concentration and profitability of our business is critical to our future success," said Gordon Kerr, president and CEO.

"The sale of these assets will reduce our debt levels thereby improving our financial flexibility and allowing us to focus our investment in core areas that we believe have better growth potential and superior economics."

The sale, subject to customary closing procedures, is expected to close in December.

Enerplus produces oil and gas in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. In the United States, it produces oil in Montana and North Dakota and natural gas from the Marcellus formation in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland.