Riata's SandRidge acquires NEG Oil & Gas

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Nov. 22 -- Riata Energy Inc., Oklahoma City, closed its $1.5 billion acquisition of NEG Oil & Gas LLC from American Real Estate Partners, a conglomerate owned by investor Carl Icahn.

Riata does business as SandRidge Energy Inc. Riata signed a letter of intent on Sept. 7 and announced plans to change its name to SandRidge Energy on Sept. 29.

NEG's holdings include oil and gas properties throughout Texas and in the Gulf of Mexico. The acquisition involved essentially all of American Real Estate's oil and gas interests and all the properties previously managed by National Energy Group Inc., which was acquired by NEG Inc., another Icahn business, earlier this year.

SandRidge issued 12.8 million shares to an American Real Estate subsidiary, paid $1.03 billion in cash, and assumed $250 million in NEG Oil & Gas debt.

Tom L. Ward, SandRidge's chairman and chief executive officer, said the acquisition boosts his company's holdings in Pinon gas field in the West Texas thrust belt to 245,000 net acres with an average working interest of 83%.

"We are moving forward with plans to expand our drilling program to 20 rigs in the Pinon field by yearend 2007," Ward said.

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