(Adds details on U.S. Gulf asset sale, background)
May 8 (Reuters) - Apache Corp said it would sell properties in the Gulf of Mexico for $1.4 billion as the U.S. oil and gas company focuses on its more lucrative shale fields in North America.
The company is selling its interests in two development projects and 11 deepwater exploration blocks in the Gulf of Mexico to Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.
Apache’s shares rose 1.4 percent before the bell after the company also posted a better-than-expected adjusted profit.
Apache, like Occidental Petroleum Corp and Hess Corp , has been boosting production in North America and selling international assets.
Apache said onshore North American liquids production rose 21 percent in the first quarter to average 198,500 barrels per day.
Total worldwide net daily production of oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids fell 18 percent to average 640,000 barrels of oil equivalent.
Apache, which has sold its properties in Canada and Argentina, is also looking to sell a part of its 50 percent stake in the Kitimat liquefied natural gas export project in British Columbia.
Net income from continuing operations slipped to $753 million, or $1.90 per share, from $759 million, or $1.91 per share.
The company posted an adjusted profit of $1.78 per share, above the average analyst estimate of $1.62, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue fell 7 percent to $3.67 billion, but beat the average analyst estimate of $3.56 billion.
Freeport, which is also a major copper producer, said it would use proceeds from a $3.1 billion sale announced on Wednesday to fund the deal.
The company said it would sell some of its assets in Eagle Ford shale field in Texas to Encana Corp to focus on its U.S. Gulf operations.
Apache shares, which have gained nearly 17 percent in the past year, closed at $87.76 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. (Reporting by Swetha Gopinath in Bangalore; Editing by Ted Kerr)