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Texas producer Ranger Oil explores sale -sources

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Ranger Oil Corp is exploring a potential sale as the south Texas oil and gas producer looks to capitalize on high energy prices to pursue strategic options, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

Ranger is working with an advisor and has actively started marketing itself to potential buyers, the sources said, requesting anonymity as these discussions are confidential.

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Ranger, which operates in the Eagle Ford shale basin, currently has a market capitalization of $1.74 billion, based on its closing price on Thursday. The company also holds long-term debt worth $603.4 million as of Sept.30.

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Elevated oil and gas prices have encouraged many private equity-backed or public energy companies to sell themselves, as their valuations have swelled in recent months. Ranger had gained around 58% this year.

Ranger Oil did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Eagle Ford has witnessed a flurry of deal activity in recent months. Its proximity to other major energy hubs, including the U.S. Gulf coast, makes it an attractive location, while the basin is home to a number of smaller producers, which makes it easier for them to be absorbed by strategic players.

Earlier this year, Marathon Oil Corp struck a deal to buy natural gas-focused assets from private equity-backed Ensign Natural Resources for $3 billion, while in September, Devon Energy Corp closed its deal to buy Validus Energy for $1.8 billion.

Last year, Penn Virginia Corp bought Lonestar Resources US Inc in an all-stock deal valued at $370 million, and later rebranded the combined company as Ranger Oil. (Reporting by Shariq Khan in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Arunima Kumar and David French Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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