Encana Layoffs 20131105

Encana chief executive Doug Suttles says the company is delivering early on its promises for 2017. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

Calgary-based energy company Encana will sell its Bighorn operations in Alberta to another Alberta-based ompany, privately-held Jupiter Resources for $1.8 billion.

The deal includes about 1,500 square kilometres of land in Alberta containing total net proved reserves of about 1.1 trillion cubic feet of predominantly natural gas. But Encana said the deal also includes the company`s working interests in all pipelines, facilities and service arrangements in the area.

"Bighorn is a high quality asset that has not been receiving significant investment in 2014," Encana CEO Doug Suttles said in a statement. "Going forward, it should serve as an excellent foundational asset for Jupiter Resources."

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

The deal is the latest move by Encana to retrench to its core assets since Suttles took over and announced a cost-cutting program that includes axing job and slashing the company`s dividend

Suttles says in future, the company wil focus its efforts on a half-dozen high quality resource assets across the continent, instead of maintaining interests in up to 30 scattered all over.

In March, Encana reached a deal to sell Wyoming's Jonah field, one of the America's largest natural gas fields, for $1.8 billion to an affiliate of TPG Capital, a global private investment firm.

In May, the company said it would spend about $3.1 billion to by the oil-rich Eagle Ford Shale assets in Texas.