Finance/Companies news briefs, Feb. 15

Naftex Energy � Cabre Exploration (Cyprus) � Adair International Oil & Gas � Superior Geophysical � Universal Compression Holdings � Weatherford International � Cudd Pressure Control � Sooner Testing � and more �

In the article titled "ENI takes stake in Iranian field" (OGJ Online, Feb. 6, 2001), ENI was said to expect 90,000 b/d of oil from its stake in Balal field. The correct number is 9,000. OGJ Online regrets the error.

Naftex Energy Corp. subsidiary Coplex (Egypt) Ltd. has begun an action in the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench against Cabre Exploration (Cyprus) Ltd., its partner in West Esh El Mallaha concession in Egypt, and Cabre's parent company, Vanguard Oil Corp. Coplex claims that Cabre breached obligations under a farmout agreement�specifically, that the Tawoos-1 and Tanan-1 wells drilling by Cabre are not "exploration wells" within the meaning of the farmout agreement�and so is not entitled to an additional 31% interest in the portion of the concession subject to the agreement.

Adair International Oil & Gas Inc., Houston, has formed a wholly owned subsidiary called Superior Geophysical Inc. to manage, design, acquire and process 2D and 3D seismic data.

Universal Compression Holdings Inc. has completed acquisition of Weatherford Global Compression Services LP, the gas compression business of Weatherford International Inc. The deal gives Universal Compression a 48% interest in Universal Compression Inc. (OGJ Online, Oct. 24, 2000).

Cudd Pressure Control Inc., a subsidiary of RPC Inc., has acquired Sooner Testing Inc. of Elk City, Okla., for an undisclosed sum. Sooner is a fluid pumping, production testing, and equipment rental company with primary operations in Oklahoma and Texas.

AltaGas Services Inc., Calgary, has agreed to acquire the Prairie River natural gas processing plant and associated 58-km gas gathering system from an unnamed seller. The plant, near Valleyview, Alta., has 11 MMcfd of capacity. The acquisition, though subject to normal due diligence, is expected to close Mar. 31.

Hydralift ASA has agreed to buy Procon Engineering AS, a subsidiary of ProSafe ASA, for 118 million Norwegian kroner. Procon provides process equipment and control systems to the onshore and offshore oil and gas industry. Hydralift says the acquisition will supplement its drilling equipment product range. ProSafe said the sale streamlines the company by realizing a noncore business.

Alberta Energy Co. Ltd., (AEC) Calgary, says it will sell its oil ands gas interests in Argentina to invest in other countries. A unit, Alberta Energy Co. Argentine SA, has interests in fields with reserves of 78 bcf of natural gas and 173,000 bbl. of oil. The company acquired the properties in 1994 covering 79,077 acres of developed lands and 140,696 acres of undeveloped land in central Argentina. AEC said it has opened its books to potential bidders and an auction will be open until Mar. 21.

Petro-Canada, Calgary, and a union representing about 1,100 workers at refineries and other downstream facilities across Canada have averted a strike. The Communications, Energy, and Paperworkers Union of Canada withdrew a strike notice issued earlier this week after Petro-Canada said satisfactory progress has been made in negotiations. Improvements in pensions and other benefits are at issue. Petro-Canada refineries process about 284,000 b/d of crude oil into gasoline and other petroleum products.

Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. has agreed to buy PenCanadian Petroleum Ltd.'s Pelican Lake property. The northern Alberta property produces 5,000 b/d of heavy oil and 4.7 MMcfd of gas. The transaction includes 67,000 acres of land. PanCanadian said the asset is not one of its core ones but is contiguous with Canadian Natural's holdings in the area.

Marathon Oil Co., part of the USX-Marathon Group, announced that 87% of shares in Pennaco Energy Inc., Denver, were tendered for its offer to purchase all outstanding shares. Marathon plans to acquire the remaining Pennaco shares through a second-step merger process paying $19/share. Following the second-step merger, Pennaco will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Marathon.

USX Corp. announced it has approved a 2001 Marathon Group capital, investment, and exploration budget of $1.8 billion, up 19% over actual spending of $1.64 billion in 2000. The budget includes $762 million for production activities, $641 million for refining, marketing and transportation and $87 million for corporate administration and other energy related businesses.

Tracer Petroleum Corp., Calgary, said a foundation based in Iran to participate in the potential development of a large offshore oil field appraisal and development project in Iran. Due to a confidentiality agreement, Tracer was unable to release the name of the field.

Playa Minerals & Energy Inc., Houston, has changed its name to Vulcan Minerals & Energy Inc. in anticipation of a merger with Regent Group Inc. The merger and the name change will be completed Feb. 28.

Edelman Group, New York City, said affiliated entities have acquired 6.34% of the shares of Equity Oil Co., Salt Lake City, Utah. Equity explores and produces oil and gas in the Rocky Mountains and California.

Canadian company Alhambra Resources Ltd. has signed a letter of intent to acquire the oil and gas assets of Signature Capital Corp. by issuing Alhambra shares to Signature. Completion of this acquisition will add 17 barrels of oil per day to Alhambra's oil daily production.

PetroCosm Corp., an online marketplace for the energy industry, has selected NetworkOil Inc., an electronic marketplace for surplus energy equipment, to be the exclusive provider of oilfield surplus equipment acquisition and sales services to PetroCosm in the US and Canada.

Williams Energy Partners LP said its shares began trading on the New York Stock Exchange Feb. 6.

Dow Chemical Co. and Union Carbide completed their merger, originally announced in 1999. Union Carbide will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow.

Suncor Energy (Natural Gas) America acquiring an interest in 112,000 net acres in the Castle Rock coalbed methane project from Quaneco LLC and Rocky Mountain Gas Inc. Suncorp will fund a drilling program this spring and then can earn a 50% working interest in the property, in the Powder River basin of southeastern Montana.

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