Finance/Companies news briefs, June 22

Columbia Gas Transmission ... Plains Resources ... EnCap Investments ... Kayne Anderson Energy Fund ... Regent Energy ... Westdeutsch Landesbank Girozentrale ... TNK-Ukraina ... Abraxas Petroleum ... Grey Wolf Exploration ... Infinity ... Nova Technology Fund ... and more

Columbia Gas Transmission Corp., Charleston, W.Va., plans to open a data room for the proposed sale of natural gas pipelines and related facilities in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New York. The data room will close July 31. The systems comprise more than 180 miles of small-diameter transmission pipeline and 152 measuring stations. Columbia Transmission announced in 1996 its intention to sell facilities not in its core businesses; since then it has been divesting properties.

Plains Resources Inc., Houston, plans to repurchase 500,000 shares of stock from EnCap Investments at $25/share and 200,000 shares of common stock from Kayne Anderson Energy Fund at $25/share.

Regent Energy Corp., Houston, agreed to acquire an unspecified interest in Deep Lake field in Cameron Parish, La., for $25 million. The seller was not named. Production of the field is 5.7 MMcfd and 215 b/d of oil.

Westdeutsch Landesbank Girozentrale (WestLB) agreed to expand a $50 million revolving credit facility for TNK-Ukraina, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tyumen Oil Co., Moscow, by $25 million. TNK-Ukraina will use the funding for crude oil to supply its Lysychansk refinery. WestLB issued the original funding package earlier this year (OGJ Online, Mar. 21, 2001).

Abraxas Petroleum Corp., San Antonio, Tex., filed a registration statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on its offer to purchase the 51% of stock in Grey Wolf Exploration Inc., Calgary, that it does not already own. The company announced its intent earlier this year (OGJ Online, Apr. 12, 2001).

Infinity Inc., Chanute, Kan., completed a $6.475 million private placement of convertible subordinated notes. The proceeds will be used for the drilling and completion of 40-50 coalbed wells on the Pipeline project in Wyoming and the drilling and completion of four wells and completion of an existing well in the LaBarge coalbed methane project, also in Wyoming.

Nova Technology Fund, the UK oil and gas industry private equity fund, invested £350,000 for a minority shareholding in technical computing software specialist Sciencesoft Ltd. The investment comes on top of £215,000 injected by the Strathclyde Investment Fund and the Lanarkshire Development Agency to further develop S3GRAF, software used to data mine and graph the output from reservoir simulators.

Rio Alto Exploration Ltd. closed a deal to buy several crude oil properties in Ecuador from Mission Resources Corp., Houston. Rio Alto will pay $8.5 million US for Mission�s 70% interest in the Tiguino Block and a 90% interest in the Charapa Block. The acquisition will include 1,000 b/d of crude production and 88,9555 net acres of undeveloped lands.

Unit holders of Athabasca Oil Sands Trust and Canadian Oil Sands Trust agreed to a merger that would create Canada�s largest oil and gas royalty trust. The deal is scheduled to close July 5 and would create a trust with a combined capitalization of more than $2 billion (Can.). The combined investment units would trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the name of Canadian Oil Sands Trust.

Statoil AS said it has begun transferring tasks related to license administration of the state's assets in the blocks, trunkline systems, and facilities on the Norwegian continental shelf to Petoro, the new administrator for the Norwegian state's direct financial interest (SDFI). The process will continue until the end of this year.

PrimeWest Energy Trust closed a $94.9 million equity offering of 9.89 million new trust units. Proceeds from the issue will be used to repay debt, fund future acquisitions and capital expenditures, and to fund for general corporate purposes.

Norway fined Statoil AS 3 million Norwegian kroner ($330,000) for a 562-bbl condensate spill from a pipeline near Bergen in June 1999.

Greg Noval, founder and former president of Canadian 88 Energy Corp., was removed from the company�s board but said he will continue a fight to regain control. Shareholders at the Canadian 88 annual meeting voted for a nine-member board that did not include Noval. Noval continues to hold about 6% of the company�s shares.

New Zealand company Indo-Pacific Energy Ltd. has begun steps to consolidate its existing 32.4 million common shares into 6.5 million common shares.

Mallon Resources Corp. intends to sell its oil and gas properties located in the Delaware Basin of southeast New Mexico, which it says has proved reserves of 41.8 bcf equivalent of natural gas at year-end 2000. Proceeds will reduce corporate debt and fund further development and exploration of Mallon's East Blanco natural gas field in New Mexico's San Juan Basin.

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP acquired another 2.3% in the Cochin Pipeline System from Shell Canada Ltd., bringing its stake to 35%. Cochin Pipeline consists of 1,900 miles of 12-in. line operating between Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., and Sarnia, Ont.

Fairchild International Corp., Vancouver, acquired a 5% working interest in the Coalinga Nose property in Fresno County, Calif. The purchase price and the seller were not disclosed.

Panaco Inc., Houston, increased its 2001 capital expenditure budget to $45 million from $37 million in order to cover costs of its share of the Unocal Corp.-operated East Breaks Block 205 No. 1 and a well on East Breaks Block 161.

Pickens Fuel Corp.; BCG eFuels, Inc., owned by BC Gas Inc.; and Westport Innovations of Vancouver, BC, agreed to form a combined alternative fuel enterprise that will provide vehicular natural gas - both compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas - and related services in key markets throughout North America.

Best Pacific Resources Ltd., Calgary, increased its 2001 exploration and production budget by approximately $6 million to $17 million. It expects to drill more than 45 wells this year.

Wirbac Resources Inc., Calgary, closed a $375,000 private placement. Funds will be used to tie-in shut in gas wells and accelerate the drilling program in Wirbac's core area of Golden Spike, in Central Alberta and to evaluate potential property and corporate acquisitions.

Gateway Energy Corp., Houston, said its wholly owned subsidiary Gateway Processing Co. entered into a long-term agreement with a producer to purchase non-pipeline quality natural gas in East Texas. It also entered into an agreement with Hanover Compression LP under which Hanover will treat the gas to enable it to meet pipeline quality sales specifications.

Trican Well Service Ltd., Calgary, is increasing its 2001 capital budget by $20 million to $43 million. The increase will be particularly focused on increasing Trican's fracturing services capacity, as well as other service lines.

Corridor Resources Inc., Halifax, NS, said it is proceeding with the private placement of 2 million-3 million shares at $2/share and another private placement of up to 400,000 common shares at $1.80/share. Proceeds will be used to complete Corridor's share of the drilling and evaluation of the McCully No. 3 well near Sussex, NB, and further exploration drilling in the area and in other joint ventures in southern New Brunswick.

FMC Technologies Inc., an affiliate of FMC Corp., priced its June 14 initial public offering of 11,050,000 shares of common stock at $20/share.

Shamrock Resources Inc., Calgary, plans a 2 million share private placement at 30¢ (Can.)/share. It will use the proceeds to finance Shamrock's portion of a drilling program on the Oro Fino property and for unallocated working capital.

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