Finance/Companies news briefs, Oct. 9

Credo Petroleum � Texaco � EDG � Air Products & Chemicals � Celanese � Paradigm Geophysical � TotalFinaElf � Oceaneering International � Global Industries � Delta Petroleum � Saga Petroleum � Petroplus International � Precision Drilling � Geoservices � Basic Earth Science Systems � TransCanada PipeLines � Metrogas � GASCO � Trigas � Compania de Petroleos de Chile � and more

Credo Petroleum Corp. said it has acquired an unrestricted, exclusive license for recently patented technology to lift liquids from low-pressure gas wells. Credo said it had already paid $182,500 of the $1,195,000 purchase price. The licensor will also receive a net 8.3% carried interest in any installation of the technology. The initial license term on the Calliope Production System is 10 years, but the agreement includes an option to extend the license to the end of the patent life.

Texaco Inc. has awarded EDG Inc. a contract for the detailed engineering and design of the Central fields gas compression project off Angola. EDG will install an 11,000 hp compressor plus ancillary equipment, including a power generator, on the existing Bagre A platform on Block 2 to provide gas injection and gas lift. The company will also modify facilities on three satellite platforms and add gas distribution pipelines.

Air Products & Chemicals Inc. said it had completed the sale of its polyvinyl alcohol business to Celanese AG, Germany, for $326 million. Included in the sale are facilities in Pasadena, Tex., and Calvert City, Ky., that produce nearly 200 million lb/year of polyvinyl alcohol.

Paradigm Geophysical Ltd. has signed commercialization contracts with a division of TotalFinaElf SA that will result, Paradigm said, in some TotalFinaElf software being implemented in Paradigm's well data management and processing software.

Oceaneering International Inc. said the previously disclosed asset swap between it and Global Industries Ltd. has been finalized (OGJ Online, Sept. 7, 2000). Oceaneering has acquired 11 work class remotely operated vehicles in exchange for its diving assets and related equipment in Asia, Australia, China, and the Middle East, including the dive support vessel Ocean Winsertor.

Delta Petroleum Corp. said it decided Oct. 2 to exercise an option to purchase interests in 680 producing wells and associated acreage in the Permian Basin from Saga Petroleum Corp. and its affiliates for $49.5 million (OGJ Online, Sept. 11, 2000). Delta warned that it has not yet secured the financing and/or industry participants that will be necessary to acquire these properties.

Petroplus International NV has priced a 150 million euro offering of 10.5% senior notes due 2010 to be issued by a newly formed special purpose finance subsidiary of Petroplus and guaranteed by Petroplus. The net proceeds of the offering are expected to be used principally to repay borrowings incurred in connection with Petroplus� acquisition of the Cressier refinery and related assets in May 2000 and to decrease other indebtedness (OGJ Online, May 15, 2000).

Precision Drilling Corp., Calgary, and Geoservices SA, Paris, jointly announced they have concluded an agreement whereby Precision will acquire the global directional drilling and electromagnetic measurement-while-drilling assets of Geoservices and an exclusive worldwide license to Geoservices' EM- MWD technology. These assets will be integrated into Computalog Ltd., a wholly-owned Precision subsidiary.

Basic Earth Science Systems Inc. said Tuesday that it sold its interests in two nonoperated gas wells in a Houston auction in July and used the proceeds to pay down its bank debt. One of the wells was in Oklahoma, and the other was in Texas. Basic said it netted $87,000 from the sale.

TransCanada PipeLines Ltd., Calgary, said it closed the sale of its 10% percent interest in Chilean company Metrogas SA for approximately $70 million. A sales agreement was reached with the existing shareholders of Metrogas: GASCO SA, Trigas SA, and Compania de Petroleos de Chile SA. Metrogas distributes natural gas to residential, commercial, and industrial customers in Santiago, Chile.

Bouygues Offshore, Paris, has made an indirect 20% equity investment in Rosetti Marino SPA, a construction company. The companies have been cooperating since 1985, when they formed joint venture company RosBos, which specializes in offshore construction.

Ultramar Diamond Shamrock Corp., San Antonio, Tex., said Wednesday it has completed the purchase of 23 retail outlets and the branded wholesale business of Valley Shamrock of McAllen, Tex. Terms of the sale were not disclosed. The outlets are located in the Rio Grande Valley area of Texas.

Northern Border Partners LP said it has completed the $200 million acquisition from Enron North America Corp. of gas gathering facilities in the Powder River and Wind River basins of Wyoming. The deal was announced in August (OGJ Online, Aug. 25, 2000).

Aspen Group Resources Corp., Oklahoma City, Okla., said it will buy back up to 12.5 million common shares on the open market. Aspen shares trade on the OTC Bulletin Board. Aspen also said it has begun trading on the Canadian Venture Exchange.

Syntroleum Corp. said Tuesday it has engaged Merrill Lynch & Co. as financial advisor on debt-financing alternatives for the $400 million Sweetwater gas-to-liquids plant project in West Australia. The plant, located on the Burrup Peninsula, will produce 10,000 b/d of products.

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