ConocoPhillips (COP) agreed to sell its properties in the Cedar Creek Anticline, which comprises about 86,000 net acres in North Dakota and Montana, to Denbury Resources for $1.05 billion, the company announced today.

The Houston-based energy company said its net production from those properties averaged 13,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day through November. ConocoPhillips noted that its assets in the Bakken Formation, where the company owns 626,000 net acres, are not included in the deal.

“This disposition represents further optimization of our portfolio,” said Don Wallette, ConocoPhillip’s executive vice president of commercial, business development and corporate planning. “The transaction will allow us to focus our investments in North Dakota and Montana on our significant Bakken unconventional position. We are pleased that Denbury Resources Inc. recognizes the value of these properties.”

ConocoPhillips expects an after-tax net earnings benefit of approximately $120 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, while the transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013.

Since the start of 2012, the company has announced total asset sales of about $12 billion. It added that the proceeds from these divestitures will allow the company to continue executing its existing growth programs. The latest sale is part of a plan to focus on capital investments that deliver growth, ConocoPhillips said.

Shares of ConocoPhillips were flat at $58.47 in late morning trading Tuesday.

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