Finance/Companies news briefs, Mar. 20

Williams ... BG Group ... Anadarko Petroleum ... Ramoil Management ... Enron ... Alliance Pipeline Ltd. Partnership ... Saudi Aramco ... Roper Industries

Williams' exploration and production unit, Tulsa, Tuesday said it sold its interest in a central Utah gas property to Texaco Exploration & Production Inc. for $8 million. The nonoperating interest included 32 producing wells and more than 30,000 net acres in the Ferron coalbed methane play in Emery and Sevier counties. Texaco already is operator for most of these properties.

BG Group PLC, London, Tuesday said a subsidiary, BG Energy Holdings Ltd., has completed the sale of 24.5% of Phoenix Natural Gas Ltd., the Northern Ireland natural gas distribution company, to East Surrey Investments Ltd. Shareholders in Phoenix are BG with 51%; KeySpan Corp., 24.5%; and East Surrey Investments, 24.5%.

A subsidiary of Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Houston, Monday completed its acquisition of 100% of Berkley Petroleum Corp., Calgary. Anadarko Canada Acquisition Corp. bought 106.9 million shares for a total value of $400 million (Can.). Berkley will continue as Anadarko Canada Energy Ltd., another subsidiary of Anadarko.

Ramoil Management Ltd., Las Vegas, Nev., is selling a majority share of Ramoil Engineering, an Italian-based design, engineering, and construction subsidiary. Gary Walters, Ramoil Management CEO, said the parent company wants to sell 80% of Ramoil Engineering for $500,000 cash with Ramoil Management retaining 20% share. The cash will be used for corporate restructuring and introducing showcase companies utilizing a newly developed power energy source technology.

Enron Corp., Houston, has rejected the bid of Indian Oil Corp. (IOC) to acquire its 30% stake in Panna-Mukta and Tapti oil and gas fields. Enron turned down IOC�s initial nonbinding bid, saying IOC lacked enough �exposure� to exploration and production activities. With the rejection of IOC�s bid, Enron�s joint venture partners, Oil & Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) and Reliance Industries Ltd., who hold 40% and 30% shares respectively, are the main contenders left for acquiring the stake.

Alliance Pipeline Ltd. Partnership said it closed a $450 million (Can.) senior note issue in Canada under its medium term note program. The senior notes mature June 30, 2023, with a coupon of 7.181% and a weighted average life of 15 years. Alliance Pipeline Ltd. Partnership is the owner and operator of the Canadian portion of the Alliance Pipeline System. The placement is part of Alliance Pipeline's strategy to refinance a large portion of its bank credit facilities with longer-term bonds.

Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Saudi Aramco), the national oil company of Saudi Arabia, awarded BJ Tubular Services, Aberdeen, 3-year contract to provide services in Saudi Arabia. The contract provides for well services, including casing and tubing running, and pick-up and laydown services throughout Saudi Aramco's operational fields. BJ Tubular Services started working this month for Saudi Aramco.

Roper Industries Inc., Bogart, Ga., has closed three divisions of its Petrotech business based in Belle Chasse, La. The closures involved the wellhead safety division, the systems integration division, and the installation and electrical division. Derrick Key, Roper Industries' chairman, president and CEO, said the closure will save between $2 -$2.5 million/year. Key said Roper Industries wants to focus on its turbo-machinery controls business.

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