Finance/Companies news briefs, Dec. 15

Unit � Shenandoah Resources � Gothic Energy � Chesapeake Energy � Panaco � Lukens Energy Group � Repsol-YPF � Uni�n Cubapetr�leo � Gulfstream Resources Canada � Cheniere Energy � King Resources � Ivanhoe Energy � Core Laboratories � BP � Alliant Energy Industrial Services � Trinity Pipeline � Air Liquide America � ENSCO International � Keppel FELS � K2 Energy � Gujarat State Petroleum � Niko Resources � Reliance Industries � Infinity

Unit Corp., Tulsa, purchased 887,000 shares of Shenandoah Resources Ltd., Calgary, for 35� (Can.)/share. Unit now owns 4.9 million chares of Shenandoah's common stock, plus a warrant to purchase 1.8 million more shares. Unit does not immediately foresee purchasing more shares.

Gothic Energy Corp., Houston, said its shareholders approved the proposal to merge with Chesapeake Merger 2000 Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Chesapeake Energy Corp., was approved. The closing of the merger is expected by Jan. 15. The deal was first announced in June (OGJ Online, June 30, 2000).

Panaco Inc. sold its interests in two federal leases in the Gulf of Mexico to Coastal Oil & Gas Corp. Panaco owned 35.3% working interest in OCS block 538, West Cameron Area, South Addition, and 25% working interest in Eugene Island 372.

Lukens Consulting Group Inc., provider of economic and market analysis, strategic planning and optimization software products to energy companies, has changed its name to Lukens Energy Group Inc.

Repsol-YPF SA and Uni�n Cubapetr�leo agreed to study joint ventures in the exploration and production of hydrocarbons, the refining, supply, transport, storage, and marketing of oil products and LPG, and the development of gas and for power generation in Cuba and other markets. A concession agreement for hydrocarbon production in deep waters northwest of Cuba was also signed.

Gulfstream Resources Canada Ltd. will acquire an additional 25% interest in a 1976 exploration and production agreement off Qatar. The agreement includes the Al Rayyan oil field, the Block 13 exploration area, and other areas in the north field. The Gulfstream interest increases to 67.5%, including acquisition of a 15% interest in late August (OGJ Online, Sept. 4, 2000). Based on current production levels, Gulfstream estimates its working interest share of production from Al Rayyan increases to about 8,100 b/d of crude from 3,300 b/d and its share of remaining proven reserves increases to 53 million bbl.

Cheniere Energy Inc. engaged Aurora Exploration LLC, Lafayette, La., to help with 3D seismic interpretation and prospect generation. Aurora will focus on the Mustang Island, Matagorda, and West Cameron areas of the Gulf of Mexico shelf, using a portion of Cheniere's recently licensed 6,800 sq miles of 3D seismic data.

ARXA International Energy Inc. changed its name to King Resources Inc. The company explores for oil and gas in the Gulf Coast area.

Ivanhoe Energy Inc. agreed to purchase the oil, gas, and mineral rights to 10,000 acres in the Bossier Trend in East Texas from an unnamed seller for $4.5 million. Ivanhoe also will acquire an additional 2,500 acres. Bossier sands, which typically lie between 13,000 and 14,000 feet below the surface, are capable of stimulation by hydraulic fracturing. The company plans to commence drilling operations in the second quarter of 2001. Ivanhoe currently holds a 100% working interest in the acreage, subject to leasehold burdens and a 9.375% net profits interest.

Core Laboratories NV purchased BP's family of patents relating to seismic coherency computations and methods. Previously, Core, though its merger with Coherence Technology Co., had been the exclusive worldwide licensee of the technology.

Alliant Energy Industrial Services Inc. acquired the Bastian Bay Pipeline, a 12-mile, 16-in. gas pipeline in Louisiana waters south of Empire, from Samedan Oil Corp., Seneca Resources Inc., and Ace Energy. The pipeline operated as Bastian Bay Pipeline LP, will be operated by OGS Pipeline LLC of Houston. The pipeline will gather gas from Newfield Exploration Co. and other producers in the area. Alliant Energy Industrial Services owns more than 500 miles of gathering systems, with throughput in excess of 120 MMcfd of gas; 23,000 b/d of oil; and 8,000 gal/day of natural gas liquids.

Trinity Pipeline LP completed the purchase of two Permian Basin carbon dioxide pipeline systems and related transportation contracts from Air Liquide America Corp. The West Texas and Llano systems transport 80 MMcfd of CO2 from the Cortez CO2 pipeline to enhanced oil recovery projects operating miscible CO2 floods in the Permian basin. The lines have capacity to carry 200 MMcfd. The purchase price was not disclosed.

ENSCO International Inc. formed a joint venture with Keppel FELS Ltd. through which ENSCO will acquire, for $30 million in cash and management and procurement services, a 25% ownership interest in a new harsh environment jack up rig now under construction at Keppel FELS' shipyard in Singapore. The new rig, to be named the ENSCO 102, will be capable of working in water depths of as much as 350 ft in the North Sea and water depths of more than 400 ft in milder environments. The total agreed cost of the rig will be approximately $130 million, with delivery anticipated in early 2002. ENSCO will have an option to purchase the remaining 75% interest in the new rig within two years after delivery.

K2 Energy Corp. agreed to a private placement of 2.2 million shares at 40�/share.

Gujarat State Petroleum Corp. has removed Niko Resources Ltd., Calgary, as operator of the Hazira gasfield for what it has called �an act of willful misconduct of petroleum operations by sacrificing the interest of the joint venture.� It claims that the Canadian outfit violated the Petroleum and Natural Gas rules by suspending petroleum operations at the Hazira gasfield without obtaining approval from the relevant authorities. �The failure of Niko to commence gas sales to Essar Steel resulted in claim of damages to the tune of 45 million rupees,� a senior GSPC official said.

Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd. is negotiating with the Qatar government to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) for 25 years, starting in 2004. �We are talking about 5 million tonnes in the first phase, going up to 10 in due course,� said R P Sharma, president of LNG business in the highly diversified Reliance. �We would use 3.5 metric tonnes in-house for our refinery and petrochemicals complex in Jamnagar and for a power project in Pipavav. The rest of the gas will be sold to industry.�

Infinity Inc. acquired leases on an additional 4,100 acres of coalbed methane property in its "Pipeline" project in the Green River basin in Wyoming. This expands the amount of leased property in the Pipeline project by 21% to 24,000 acres. Infinity will retain an average 85% net revenue interest and an initial 100% working interest in the latest 4,100 acres. The lessor of the property has the right to participate in a working interest of not more than 25% of the project. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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