By Erin Ailworth

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. is selling natural-gas fields in Pennsylvania and some pipelines in the area for $1.2 billion to a subsidiary of Alta Resources Development LLC, a private energy company based in Houston.

The deal, which includes 195,000 acres in the Marcellus Shale and associated equipment, is expected to close in early 2017.

Anadarko is refocusing its U.S. drilling efforts on oil wells in Texas and Colorado, said John Christiansen, a spokesman for the company.

"It is an exit from the Marcellus," he said. "We've been focusing a lot of our capital dollars on the DJ Basin in Colorado and the Delaware Basin in Texas."

Anadarko was an aggressive deal maker this year, setting an initial target of selling up to $3 billion in assets in 2016. This agreement puts the company well past that goal. So far this year Anadarko has announced or closed more than $5 billion worth of deals, the company said.

Houston-based Anadarko also added to its portfolio this year. Earlier this month, the company closed a $2 billion deal to buy oil and gas assets in the Gulf of Mexico from mining giant Freeport-McMoRan Inc.

Anadarko has said that the Gulf of Mexico purchase will allow it to double the amount of fuel it pumps from the offshore region. Cash flow from the company's Gulf operations is also expected to help fund increasing drilling activity onshore, the company said.

David Tameron, an analyst at Wells Fargo Securities LLC, said Anadarko's deals have put the company on solid financial footing headed into 2017, and he predicted more sales in South Texas.

Anadarko "has been among the most aggressive in selling noncore assets, which will likely continue in 2017 as well, with its Eagle Ford assets in the queue," Mr. Tameron said.

Alta, which is funded by Blackstone Capital Partners, has operated in shale fields in Arkansas, Pennsylvania and Alberta, Canada. The company declined to comment.

Write to Erin Ailworth at Erin.Ailworth@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 21, 2016 18:50 ET (23:50 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2016 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.