Finance/Companies news briefs, Nov. 6

Quicksilver Resources � MGV Energy � PanCanadian Petroleum � Gulf Canada Resources � Crestar Energy � Nuevo Energy � Husky Energy � Talisman Energy � Pipeliner Enbridge � TransCanada PipeLines � Centrica � Avalanche Energy � Canadian Occidental Petroleum � Nexen � Canadian Nexen � Evergreen Resources � Norsk Hydro � Methanex � Imperial Chemicals Industries � Basic Earth Science Systems � and more


Quicksilver Resources Inc., Fort Worth, Tex., will buy the rest of MGV Energy Inc., Calgary, that it does not own for 283,000 shares of its common stock. MGV acquires and develops shallow gas reservoirs in southern Alberta in partnership with PanCanadian Petroleum Ltd. On Nov. 1, Quicksilver said MGV and PanCanadian formed a joint venture to explore for and develop coal bed methane reserves, with an initial focus on the Alberta Palliser block. Quicksilver purchased a controlling holding in MGV in August 1999.

Gulf Canada Resources Ltd. has completed its acquisition of Crestar Energy Inc., as announced last month (OGJ Online, Oct. 9, 2000). More than 95% of Crestar's shares were tendered in support of the transaction, said Gulf, which will pay $177 million in cash and issue $181 million (Can.) in consideration for the shares. It will also purchase the remaining shares of Crestar.

Nuevo Energy Co., Houston, has transferred, for an undisclosed amount, a 25% participating interest in its Accra-Keta Permit located off the Republic of Ghana in West Africa, to a large, unnamed US-based independent oil and gas company, Nuevo said Wednesday. The transaction is subject to Ghanaian government approval. Nuevo will continue to operate the 2.7-million-acre permit with a 75% interest. Nuevo expects to spud its first wildcat on the Cougar prospect soon.

Husky Energy Inc., Calgary, reports third quarter earnings of $158 million (Can.), triple the earnings for the same period in 1999. Husky CEO John Lau attributed earnings gains to high commodity prices, increased production, and the Renaissance takeover. Husky said the integration of the two companies is now substantially complete. Husky said net income for the third quarter increased 562% to $139 million and cash flow rose 155% over the same period in 1999 to $388 million compared with $152 million. Revenue was $1.35 billion, up from $786 million in third quarter 1999.

Talisman Energy Ltd., Calgary, reports a 282% increase in third quarter earnings over the same period last year to $212.2 million (Can.) Net income for the first nine months was $621.2 million, compared to $76.9 million for the first 9 months of 1999. The company said it plans a capital budget of $1.75 billion in 2001 and will also use profits to continue a share buy-back program. Talisman said third quarter production averaged 397,000 boe/d, up 25% from third quarter 1999. It forecast production will increase to about 444,000 boe/d in 2001 and 488,000 in 2002.

Pipeliner Enbridge Inc., Calgary, reports a 25% increase in third quarter profits to $45.8 million (Can.) compared with $36.5 million in the same period a year ago. The company operates Canada�s largest crude oil pipeline system and a major natural gas utility in Ontario. Enbridge reported a 13% increase in earnings for the first nine months to $322 million on revenues of $2.4 billion. CEO Brian MacNeill said the company is on track for double digit earnings per share growth for a second consecutive year.

TransCanada PipeLines Ltd., Calgary, reports a 7% increase in third quarter 2000 earnings to $151 million (Can.) and says it has achieved a successful turnaround of its operations. The company has sold more than $3 billion in non-core assets in the past year and is focusing on operating gas pipelines and power generation. The latter accounted for most of the increase in company earnings in the third quarter. TransCanada reported a slight decline to date for 2000 on deliveries in its Alberta pipeline system to 12.2 bcfd and said deliveries on its mainline to Eastern Canada and the US were unchanged at 7.3 bcfd.

Centrica PLC, a United Kingdom natural gas supplier, has agreed to buy Calgary-based producer Avalanche Energy Ltd. for $253.3 million (Can.) cash and assumed debt. The sale of closely-held Avalanche is scheduled to close by the end of November and will give Centrica ownership of several gas properties in south central Alberta. It is the second expansion for the British company into the Canadian and North American gas market. Centrica bought Direct Energy Marketing Ltd., of Calgary, in August and said it wants to acquire additional gas reserves and expand its operations in North America.

Shareholders of Canadian Occidental Petroleum Ltd. have approved a previously announced name change to Nexen Inc. (OGJ Online, Sept. 29, 2000). The name change was prompted by a dispute earlier this year with former parent Occidental Petroleum Corp., Los Angeles, which owns the Occidental name. The US firm sold its remaining 29% interest in CanOxy earlier this year. The name change will apply everywhere except in Yemen.

Evergreen Resources Inc. said Friday it has offered 2.8 million shares of common stock at $29.35/share. Proceeds will be used to repay outstanding debt, including that incurred in the company's acquisition of coal bed methane properties in the Raton Basin from an affiliate of KLT Gas, Inc. The offering is expected to close on Nov. 8.

Norsk Hydro ASA on Thursday repurchased 260,000 of its shares at 376 kroner/share. Earlier this year, the company said it would buy back up to 5 million shares. It was the first repurchase under the program.

Methanex Corp., Vancouver, said Thursday it will acquire the European methanol business of Imperial Chemicals Industries PLC (ICI), London, for $14 million (US) and ICI's methanol inventory for $8 million. The business, primarily in the United Kingdom, includes sales contracts, a loading terminal, terminal leases, and pipelines. The acquisition does not include ICI's 500,000 tonne/year methanol plant in the UK. Methanex will purchase the full output of this plant until the end of April 2001 when it will be mothballed. The acquisition, pending regulatory approval, is set to close by yearend.

A unit of Cleco Midstream Resources LLC, a subsidiary of Cleco Corp., has purchased 160 miles of pipeline from Texas Southeastern Gas Co. and 33 miles of Southland Energy Co. pipeline from International Paper Co. in transactions worth a combined $3.2 million. The Texas Southeastern pipelines serve six municipalities, two local distribution companies, 11 industrial customers, and three public authorities in southeast Texas. The pipeline purchased from Southland runs from Seven Oaks field in Polk County, Tex., to an interconnect with existing Cleco Energy pipelines in Lufkin, Tex.

Compagnie Generale de Geophysique of France is planning an offering of senior notes worth $165 million in international capital markets. Proceeds will be used to repay debt and pay the cash due under its acquisition Aker Maritime ASA's Aker Geo seismic operations unit.

Northern Border Partners LP has offered 1.875 million common units at $29/unit. The offering is expected to close Nov. 7. Proceeds will be used to repay debt incurred in the acquisition of the Crestone Energy Ventures businesses from Enron North America in September.

Wintershall AG of Germany has acquired, via its Argentinian subsidiary Wintershall Energia SA, 35% of the southern Argentinian offshore concessions Tauro-Sirius and Octans-Pegaso from Total Austral SA. Both are located in the Austral Basin of Tierra del Fuego and hold proven but undeveloped gas reserves of 21.4 billion cu m.

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