Finance/Companies news briefs, June 12

Union Pacific Resources . . . Madison Energy Advisors. . .Transocean Sedco Forex � BP Amoco � Indo-Pacific Energy � AMG Oil � Noble Affiliates � Fred. Olsen � R&B Falcon � Navis � BP Amoco � Petrobras


Union Pacific Resources Group Inc. (UPR), Fort Worth, Tex., has retained Madison Energy Advisors Inc., Scottsdale, Ariz.,to evaluate and market substantially all of its producing assets in south Louisiana, officials said. Those properties include 52 wells, with UPR holding 100% working interests in most. The proposed package also includes substantial proved nonproducing and proved undeveloped reserves, said officials. In December, net production from the properties included 16.1 MMcfd of gas, 490 b/d of oil, and 54 b/d of natural gas liquids. A data room is scheduled to open June 19 for those properties.

Transocean Sedco Forex Inc. said it received a letter from BP Amoco PLC alleging default on the five-year contract for the ultra-deepwater drillship Discoverer Enterprise. The rig company said the letter alleged equipment problems relating to the blowout prevention system on the drillship caused nonproductive time incidents. Transocean said the rig remains on contract and is standing by on location on Mississippi Canyon 822 in the Gulf of Mexico. The company strongly denies it is in default and is meeting with BP Amoco to resolve the matter.

Indo-Pacific Energy Ltd., San Francisco, and AMG Oil Ltd., San Francisco, reported the completion of the third stage of a seismic survey in the onshore Canterbury basin in New Zealand. The companies commissioned the survey to determine drilling locations for both the Arcadia and Ealing prospects. Drilling on the prospects is expected in late August. AMG Oil carried Indo-Pacific through the costs of the $1.3 million seismic program in return for a 30% interest in the Canterbury permit area. Indo-Pacific has also granted AMG an option, due to expire June 25, to earn another 50% interest in the permit by funding the estimated $1.7 million cost of drilling the Arcadia-1 and Ealing-1 wells.

Fred. Olsen Energy ASA agreed to purchase R&B Falcon Inc.'s 38.6% interest in Navis ASA. Fred. Olsen will also assume the management contract for the drillship Navis Explorer I. In May, BP Amoco PLC and Petroleo Brasiliero SA let a contract to Navis to use the Navis Explorer drillship to work off Brazil and Trinidad in 2,700 m of water. Details of the agreement is expected by June 13. R&B Falcon bought a one-third share of Navis in 1998 and in April 1999 increased its holding to 38.6% by contributing $50 million more to the Navis Explorer drillship building project.

Noble Affiliates Inc., Ardmore, Okla., reported plans to move its corporate officers and certain support personnel from Ardmore to Houston. Scheduled for completion by September, the move will affect 16 of the 174 employees in Ardmore. Noble currently has 189 employees in Houston, headquarters for its worldwide exploration and production operations. Centralized accounting, lease records, human resources, and certain other functions will remain in Ardmore.

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