Finance/Companies news briefs, May 18

Chevron Corp. ... Tengizchevroil ... Peoples Energy ... NBB Energy Partners I LP ... Excelergy Corp. ... PricewaterhouseCoopers ... GulfWest Oil Co.

May 18th, 2000


Chevron Corp. will purchase an additional 5% stake in the Tengiz joint venture in western Kazakhstan. The acquisition will increase Chevron's share of Tengizchevroil (TCO), the company that operates the giant Tengiz field, to 50% from 45%. TCO, which was formed in 1993, has increased Tengiz output from 60,000 b/d in the first year to about 215,000 b/d today. An expansion project, to be completed this year, is expected to boost production to 260,000 b/d. Tengiz has estimated potential recoverable reserves of 6-9 billion bbl, according to Chevron. The field is the primary driver for the Caspian Pipeline Consortium project´┐Ża major pipeline from Tengiz to the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiisk. Stakeholders in Tengizchevroil are Chevron, 50%; Kazakhoil, 20%; ExxonMobil Corp., 25%; and LUKARCO, 5%.

Peoples Energy, Chicago, has acquired an interest in 25 oil and natural gas producing wells in South Louisiana and the Texas Gulf Coast from NBB Energy Partners I LP. The deal marks the first time Peoples will operate oil and gas properties, as the firm will assume complete production responsibilities for a certain number of the wells. The purchase also represents a strategic expansion by Peoples into the onshore gulf area, one of the company's targeted production regions. Valued at $18 million, nearly 60% of the properties' production is gas. Peoples' oil and gas production unit, Peoples Energy Production, already owned an interest in eight of the wells. The newly acquired reserves will provide the company with "robust near-term income," said Tom Patrick, president of Peoples Energy. "With this transaction, we have invested more than $100 million in our oil and gas production business since 1998 and achieved financial results that have exceeded our expectations."

Excelergy Corp., Lexington, Mass., is forming a joint venture with PricewaterhouseCoopers, New York, to market Excelergy's electronic data-management products and Pricewaterhouse-Coopers's consulting services to utilities and energy suppliers in Australia and New Zealand. The companies also have agreed to explore an agreement similar to the Australia-New Zealand deal that will focus on deregulated energy suppliers and utilities in the Asia-Pacific marketplace.

GulfWest Oil Co., Houston, has purchased all the working interests in natural gas properties in the Leona River Field, Zavala County, Tex., from an unnamed company for $2.6 million cash and stock. The acquisition was effective Apr. 1. It is part of GulfWest's business plan to increase its gas reserves. It was financed by the recently announced credit facility with Aquila Energy Capital Corp. The properties include 10 producing and 9 shut-in wells with associated proven gas reserves of about 3 bcf, and a 10-mile gathering system. The deal also includes an estimated 5,000 acres of mineral leases with an estimated potential of as much as 10 Bcf of additional reserves. GulfWest's operating subsidiary, Setex Oil & Gas Co., assumed operations and has begun a workover and drilling program to increase production and develop the leases.

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