Talisman Energy Inc., Canada's No. 5 independent oil exploration company, announced today that it had agreements to sell properties in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario to unnamed buyers through five separate transactions valued at approximately $1.9 billion in the aggregate. The properties had been put up for sale in January and the transactions are expected to close by the end of June.

The properties being sold hold proven reserves of 120 million barrels of oil equivalent and produce 42,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day, with natural gas accounting for about 90 percent of the output. The properties also include about 1 million acres of exploration lands.

The proposed transactions are the most recent in a series of property dispositions by the company, as it refocuses its operations on unconventional natural gas. The proceeds will allow Talisman to invest heavily in the massive shale plays that have revolutionized the North American natural gas business, as new technologies now allow companies to profitably tap reserves previously considered too expensive to exploit.

Of the disposed-of properties and of the transactions, Talisman Chief Executive John Manzoni said: "Although these are excellent assets with a great future, they can't effectively compete for capital within our emerging strategic asset mix [...] these sales will help us focus on, finance and build our growing, low-cost North American shale gas business."