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Bought co. with GOM shelf assets, gaining 17,000 BOE/d.

South Korean companies Korea National Oil Corp. and Samsung Corp., through subsidiaries KNoc USA Corp. and Samsung Oil & Gas USA Corp., have acquired virtually all of the Gulf of Mexico shelf oil and gas properties of privately held Taylor Energy Co. LLC, New Orleans, for $1.1 billion. The transaction involves five producing fields on the shelf in 70 feet to 650 feet of water. Daily gross production is 17,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (72% oil). Taylor is operator. The acquisition is the first large, operated purchase of oil and gas properties in North America by either company. Taylor Energy was founded in 1979 by the late Patrick F. Taylor. The company became one of the largest privately held oil and gas companies to operate in the federal waters of the Gulf. Following Taylor's death in 2004, his wife Phyllis assumed the role of chairman and CEO. Phyllis Taylor says, "I am most pleased that the buyers of our offshore assets…will remain in New Orleans and carry on the tradition established by my husband. The significant capital base of KNoc and Samsung will allow for development and growth far beyond the capacity of Taylor Energy." KNoc and Samsung intend to retain Taylor employees with an office in New Orleans and remain as operator. KNoc president Doo-Yul Hwang says, "This is an important step for our North American growth strategy. We are very pleased to be joining forces with an organization that has such a deep and rich experience as well as a proven track record of success. We are excited to use this acquisition as a platform for future growth, not only for offshore acquisitions, but onshore acquisitions in North America as well." The effective date is Jan. 1. The deal is expected to close by the end of March. Scotia Waterous (USA) Inc. is financial advisor to Taylor. Merrill Lynch & Co. is advisor to KNoc and Samsung.