Financial/Companies news briefs Mar. 12

Tesco ... Weatherford International ... Patria Resources ... High-Range Ventures ... Petroleum Geo-Services ... Landmark Graphics ... MacDonald Oil Exploration ... EXCO Resources ... STB Energy ... NCE Energy Trust

Tesco Corp., Toronto, said Monday it had agreed to sell its underbalanced drilling assets to Weatherford International, Houston, for $33 million.Tesco, an oil service firm, said it sold the underbalanced drilling assets so it could focus on expanding its core drilling services business and on developing its drilling casing technology. Weatherford said the assets include eight drilling units, nitrogen-generating units, pressure control units, and other related equipment.

Patria Resources Ltd., Calgary, announced plans to sell securities from its wholly owned subsidiary, High-Range Ventures (UK) Ltd. Patria hired Loeb Aron & Company Ltd. as its agent in the offering. Patria expects that between 6-10 million shares will be sold. Upon completion of the offering, Patria will own 12.5 million shares in High Range and a warrant to acquire an additional 2 million shares during a 5-year period. The offering is expected to close in June. High Range will use the proceeds to drill wells.

Petroleum Geo-Services ASA, Houston and Oslo, has closed the sale of Petrobank Data Management to Landmark Graphics Corp. for $175 million. PetroBank provides Internet-enabled storage, browsing, and retrieval of exploration and production data.

MacDonald Oil Exploration Ltd., Toronto, continues its attempts to acquire Bresea Resources Ltd. MacDonald Oil made a takeover bid in December. Now, MacDonald Oil is preparing the regulatory filing to extend its bid to Breasea shareholders. The same terms and conditions will apply as in the original offering. For each Bresea share tendered, the holder will receive 5 MacDonald Oil common shares plus 2.5 warrants for each Bresea share tendered. The offer is subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals.

EXCO Resources Inc., Dallas, has acquired oil and natural gas assets from STB Energy Inc., a subsidiary of Hilton Petroleum Ltd. The purchase price was $15 million. As of Jan. 1, 2001, total proved reserves net to EXCO's interest included 694,000 bbl of oil and natural gas liquids as well as 9.5 bcf of gas.

NCE Energy Trust, Toronto, has closed the $23.8 million (Can.) purchase of a diverse group of Alberta oil and gas producing properties. The properties include interests in several Pembina area oil fields, producing properties in the Medicine River, and a gas property in Sunchild, Alta. The reserves and production are 45% gas. Proven reserves account for 85% of total value. Current production net to the acquired interest is just over 560 boe/d.

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