HOUSTON (KPEL) -- Oil company Apache Corp. has struck a $3.75 billion deal to sell its operations and properties in the Gulf of Mexico.

The sale to Fieldwood Energy LLC is part of the company's move to focus more on recently acquired properties and to enhance its financial flexibility.

"This transaction is an important step toward re-balancing our portfolio," said G. Steven Farris, chairman and chief executive officer. "At the end of this process, we expect Apache to have the right mix of assets to generate strong returns, drive more predictable production growth, and create shareholder value.

Farris said Apache is looking to increase its focus on North America, while "developing a deep inventory of onshore assets."

"The shallower horizons in the Shelf have matured to the point that dependable production growth is more difficult to achieve than from  our onshore liquids plays," Farris said.

The Gulf Shelf is estimated to have 133 million barrels of oil and 636 cubic feet of natural gas.