Four-decade Permian Basin leader Scott Sheffield is among buyers of Australian shale-gas developer Tamboran Resources Corp.’s U.S. IPO in a “nail-biter that all came together,” Tamboran CFO Eric Dyer told Hart Energy.

The company is the first non-North American shale-gas E&P to IPO on the NYSE, according to Dealogic, and the first E&P to IPO since 2021.

Shares opened at $22.50 on June 27 in light volume after pricing June 26 at $24, raising $75 million for 3.125 million shares, reduced from expectations to sell 6.5 million shares that would have raised $156 million.

“It’s enough for two high-impact wells,” Dyer said.

The original estimated raise would have financed six additional appraisal wells in Australia’s Beetaloo Basin. Tamboran has defined the basin’s core for Velkerri Shale, which is similar to the Marcellus in its rock and other properties, according to Tamboran.

Tamboran has six operated appraisal wells to date. The earliest ones were drilled and completed with oilfield services on hand in the Beetaloo.

The new wells will have 10,000-ft laterals and be stimulated by U.S. pressure-pumper Liberty Energy Inc., which currently has a frac spread on a ship to Australia to do jobs for Tamboran going forward, Dyer said.

Liberty owns 4.6% of Tamboran shares.

Drilling the Beetaloo for the E&P is Helmerich & Payne Inc., which sent a FlexRig3 to the basin in 2023 and owns 5.1% of the developer’s shares.

Next steps are to develop the core with an initial 200 wells.

Sheffield, Yates

The Sheffields
The Sheffield father-son duo. Left to right, Bryan Sheffield, the largest Tamboran Resources shareholder, and Scott Sheffield, multi-decade wildcatter who has joined Bryan in investing in Tamboran. (Source: Bryan Sheffield)

The IPO is the first E&P offering since Vine Energy Inc. went public in March of 2021. The Haynesville shale operator was bought later in 2021 by Chesapeake Energy Corp. for $615 million in stock and cash.

Sheffield, the founding CEO of Pioneer Natural Resources Co., sold the Midland Basin-focused E&P to Exxon Mobil Corp. in May for $59.5 billion in stock.

Bryan Sheffield, his son, owns 16.7% of Sydney-based Tamboran, which also trades on the Australian Securities Exchange. He sold his Permian Basin producer Parsley Energy Inc. in 2021 for $7.6 billion.

Also buying shares pre-public-trading was the Permian Basin’s multi-generation developers’ Charlotte G. Yates family office, according to Tamboran.

“The shares are in the hands of people who want to hold them,” Dyer said.

Tamboran’s project received “major project status” by the Northern Territory on June 19, which means the government, which projects an imminent gas shortage for domestic use, will support the E&P in developing the Beetaloo.

Tamboran holds 4.7 million contiguous Beetaloo Basin gross acres; net, 1.9 million acres. The basin is in north-central Australia south of Darwin.

The IPO is the first to go public on a U.S. exchange before having production in sales since West Africa offshore developer Cobalt International Energy in 2009, according to Dealogic.

Underwriters have a 30-day option to buy up to 468,750 additional shares at $24. The option was reduced from initial expectations of up to 975,000 shares.

The IPO’s joint book-running managers were BofA Securities, Citigroup and RBC Capital Markets. Co-managers were Johnson Rice & Co. and Piper Sandler.

Shares were trading at $22.06 at press time.