ChevronTexaco (NYSE: CVX) has made an offer valued at $18 billion to buy Unocal Corp., (NYSE: UCL) forming an Asia-Pacific super-major. The offer is 1.03 CVX shares or $65 in cash per Unocal share. Net debt is $1.6 billion. Post-closing, ChevronTexaco expects to sell more than $2 billion worth of combined assets. (For more details, see "NewsWell" in this issue.) Japan's Nippon Oil Exploration Ltd. plans to buy shallow Gulf of Mexico assets from Oklahoma City-based Devon Energy Corp. (NYSE: DVN), Asian news service Kyodo reports. The purchase involves 12.5% to 100% interest in 63 Gulf lease blocks that produce some 13,000 BOE per day, bringing Nippon's total output to 168,000 BOE per day, the news service reports. A purchase price was not disclosed. The assets will become part of subsidiary Nippon Oil Exploration U.S.A. Ltd., which has operated in the U.S. since 1990. Its first purchase was of a 50% interest in the Orchard North gas field, near Houston. Deals since then have primarily been for assets in the shallow and deep Gulf of Mexico. In its large U.S. divestment program, Devon reports that it has sale agreements worth $1.2 billion, after taxes. And, a Canadian-asset divestment is under way. The U.S. deals are for an average price of approximately $13.64 per BOE of proved reserves, which total 88 million BOE and produced approximately 5.3 million BOE in first-quarter 2005. Deals for onshore U.S. assets total $605 million and involve 46 million BOE of proved reserves; for offshore assets, $595 million and 42 million BOE. "The expected divestiture proceeds are at the high end of the range we anticipated," says Brian J. Jennings, Devon senior vice president and chief financial officer. "After the divestitures, our property base will be more tightly focused and have a longer reserve life." Total SA is looking to divest operatorship of some 138 million cu. ft. equivalent of daily production in Texas and Mississippi in a package that may fetch more than $1 billion on the market based on current prices. Waterous & Co. has been retained to market the offering. A data room is to open this month. Total is seeking a joint venture or trade. A trade could be for deepwater Gulf of Mexico or international assets. In the package, 80% of the daily production is from wells in South Texas, 10% from East Texas (the Bethany Field, primarily) and 10% from Mississippi. Houston-based, privately held Mariner Energy Inc. and investor Carlyle/Riverstone Global Energy and Power Fund II have sold 31.5 million Mariner shares in a private placement with various investors. Friedman Billings Ramsey was sole placement agent. As a result, no single investor or related group has a controlling interest in Mariner currently. From the placement, Carlyle/Riverstone received net proceeds of approximately $363 million and Mariner received some $45 million, which it will use to pay debt. The deal represents Carlyle/Riverstone's exit from Mariner. It and Acon Investments LLC bought stakes in Mariner a year ago. Acon continues to have a small shareholding. Mariner, which had been an investment by Enron's energy-finance business unit, has principal operations in West Texas and the Gulf of Mexico. Year-end 2004 proved reserves totaled 237 billion cubic feet equivalent (64% gas; 46% proved developed; 48% in the Permian; 37%, Gulf deepwater; 15% shallow Gulf). The reserves are up from 206 billion equivalent at year-end 2003. XTO Energy Inc. (NYSE: XTO) plans to purchase East Texas and North Louisiana producing properties from Plains Exploration & Production Co. (NYSE: PXP), Houston, for $350 million. Proved reserves are approximately 175 billion cu. ft. of gas equivalent (75% proved developed; 95% gas; 60% operated). Development costs for the proved undeveloped reserves are estimated at $0.90 to $1.20 per thousand cu. ft. Production is about 35 million cu. ft. of gas per day. The deal is scheduled to close in May. At press time, Bois d'Arc Energy, Houston, was planning its IPO road show for mid-April. The E&P company, which has 300 billion cu. ft. equivalent of proved reserves in the Gulf of Mexico, is an offshore joint venture of Comstock Resources (NYSE: CRK) and Bois d'Arc Offshore Ltd. "It's been easy to set up meetings-no one is running away from this industry," quips Stan Ellington, managing director of corporate finance for Hibernia Southcoast Capital. The New Orleans-based investment banking firm is participating in the transaction. Raymond James is the lead underwriter. The company plans to sell 13.5 million shares in a range of $12 to $15. Comstock Resources Inc., Frisco, Texas, (NYSE: CRK) plans to purchase properties in East Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi from EnSight Energy Partners LP and its affiliates for $192.5 million. Proved reserves are 120.2 billion cu. ft. of gas equivalent (57% gas; 37% proved developed; 92% operated). Undeveloped reserves involve 96 drilling locations. Probable reserves are some 85.6 billion equivalent, involving an additional 133 drilling locations. Production is 20 million cu. ft. of gas equivalent per day from 240 wells. Privately held, Denver-based Meritage Energy Partners LLC has closed its sixth acquisition in 12 months, adding a total of approximately 885 BOE of daily production and an estimated 5.2 million BOE of reserves. Sellers include Quicksilver Resources Inc. (NYSE: KWK), Merit Energy, Dominion Resources (NYSE: D) and Advantage Resources. The assets are predominantly oil in the Powder River and Wind River basins, Wyoming, and the Denver-Julesburg Basin, eastern Colorado. With the deals, Meritage has gained operation of 12 out of the 14 fields in which it owns interests, including four fields in which it owns 100% working interest. The company's proved reserves now total 6.5 million BOE, over 85% developed and producing. Year-end 2004 production was approximately 2,250 BOE per day, gross, and 1,400 net. El Paso Corp., Houston, (NYSE: EP) has purchased from a subsidiary of Lehman Brothers an interest in a joint venture the pair entered in 2003. The purchase price was $62.5 million. Properties involved are in the Gulf of Mexico, South Texas and the ArkLaTex regions. Proved reserves are some 14.6 billion cu. ft. equivalent (73% gas, 95% proved developed). Average 2005 production is expected to be some 23 million equivalent. Plains Exploration & Production Co., Houston, (NYSE: PXP) plans to acquire properties primarily in the Los Angeles Basin onshore California, and in adjacent Ventura County, for $119 million from Bentley-Simonson Inc. Production is approximately 2,000 net BOE per day. Proved reserves are 17.4 million BOE. The purchase will be financed under the company's existing credit facility. Randall & Dewey handled the divestment for Bentley-Simonson. Whiting Petroleum Corp., Denver, (NYSE: WLL) has closed the acquisition of an operated interest in five producing gas fields in the Green River Basin of Wyoming for $65 million. Proved reserves are 50.5 billion cu. ft. of gas equivalent, which equates to a purchase price of $1.29 per thousand cu. ft. equivalent. Whiting will operate approximately 95% of the net production, currently 6.3 million cu. ft. of gas per day. The purchase was funded from an existing bank credit facility. Harken Energy Corp., Dallas, (Amex: HEC) through its wholly owned subsidiary, Gulf Energy Management Co., has entered an agreement with Indiana Posey LP to explore and develop coalbed methane within the Posey prospect area consisting of approximately 400,000 acres in Posey, Gibson and Vanderburgh counties, Indiana. Energy Partners Ltd., New Orleans, (NYSE: EPL) has acquired a 50% working interest in South Timbalier 26 from Apache Corp. (NYSE: APA) for $21.7 million. The acquisition brings Energy Partners' working interest in the field to 100%, excluding the 50% working interest in depths below approximately 13,000 feet retained by Apache. Proved reserves are approximately 4.2 million BOE. EPL's position in the producing portions of the field is now 100%. "Not only does this acquisition have an attractive price per BOE of $5.13, but it will also give us greater flexibility in how we continue development of the field," says Richard A. Bachmann, EPL chairman, president and chief executive officer.
S&P Lowers Currency Ratings on Argentine Producers
2023-03-31 - S&P Global Ratings lowered the local and foreign currency ratings to ‘CCC-’ from ‘CCC+’ on Pampa Energia S.A., YPF S.A. and nine other entities, which all now have a negative outlook.
Energy Transition in Motion (Week of March 31, 2023): Advancing Projects, Investment
2023-03-31 - Here’s a look at some of this week’s renewable energy news, including plans to add offshore wind capacity globally.
Norway’s PGS Places $450 Million Bond
2023-03-31 - Norwegian marine geophysical company PGS ASA placed a new $450 million senior secured bond, which together with cash on hand will be used to repay the company’s B term loan.
Brad Gray on Diversified’s Strategy Past Appalachia [WATCH]
2023-03-30 - Diversified Energy’s Brad Gray sat down with Pietro Pitts at Hart Energy’s DUG Haynesville Conference in Shreveport to talk about what Diversified is doing to set itself apart from other E&Ps and future plans as the company expands outside of the Appalachian Basin.
SM Energy Announces $0.15/Share Quarterly Cash Dividend
2023-03-30 - SM Energy's board of directors announced the quarterly cash dividend of $0.15/share of common stock outstanding will be paid out to stockholders on May 5.