Industry Briefs

Jan. 1, 2007
Contact Exploration Inc. has acquired all of the issued and outstanding shares of Columbia Natural Resources Canada Limited (CNR), a private company.

Contact Exploration acquires Columbia Natural Resources

Contact Exploration Inc. has acquired all of the issued and outstanding shares of Columbia Natural Resources Canada Limited (CNR), a private company. The consideration paid was a combination of cash and assumption of liabilities. CNR owns oil and gas rights over approximately 90,000 acres located in New Brunswick, in close proximity to Contact’s Stoney Creek project. The CNR acreage contains several existing well bores with re-completion potential and associated production equipment. CNR’s assets also include a regional aeromag survey, 2-D seismic surveys, and additional geological and geophysical information relating to this region. CNR has significant unused tax losses. Contact intends to evaluate the CNR geological and geophysical information with a view to further exploration of the newly acquired lands. Contact Exploration Inc. is a junior exploration company with a focus on Canadian East Coast onshore exploration.

Petrie Parkman closes $500MM private placement for Halliburton affiliate

Petrie Parkman & Co. has closed a transaction in which it raised $500 million in capital commitments on behalf of Red Technology Alliance LLC. With Riverstone LLC, First Reserve Corp. and Oaktree Capital Management LLC as investors, Red Technology Alliance LLC will have the ability to participate in unique upstream oil and gas investment opportunities tied to the expertise and technology of Halliburton Energy Services Inc. The venture will focus on technically demanding exploration and exploitation projects primarily in the Rocky Mountains and offshore Gulf of Mexico.

WW Oil & Gas acquires drilling rig

WW Energy Inc.’s subsidiary WW Oil and Gas Inc. has purchased a drill rig for drilling and re-working its oil and gas assets. The acquisition allows WW Oil and Gas to immediately commence drilling and re-working of the wells located in Oklahoma. The company expects to complete 30 wells within a 6-month period. WW Energy Inc. is a holding company that was created to acquire oil and gas service companies as well as oil and gas-related assets through two wholly-owned subsidiaries.

El Paso adds acreage in South Texas

El Paso Corp.’s wholly-owned subsidiary, El Paso Exploration & Production Co., has agreed to acquire producing properties and undeveloped acreage in Zapata County, Tex., for $255 million. The assets have current net production of 19 MMcf equivalent per day, and El Paso estimates proved reserves to be 84 bcf equivalent. About 73% of the estimated proved reserves are undeveloped. The properties are 100% operated with an average working interest of 85%. The 27,000 gross (23,000 net) acres provide a multi-year drilling inventory with significant additional exploration and development drilling opportunities. The properties are in close proximity to El Paso’s existing operations in the Bob West field in Zapata County, facilitating assimilation into El Paso’ Texas Gulf Coast operations. El Paso has executed purchase and sale agreements to acquire Laredo Energy III LP, operator and majority owner of the properties, as well as separate working interests in some of the properties.

FMC Technologies awarded 10-year BP frame contract

FMC Technologies Inc. has entered into a new frame agreement with BP for the supply of subsea systems and related services for the Na Kika, Thunder Horse, and Atlantis developments in the Gulf of Mexico. FMC and BP have been working together under a previous frame agreement covering Gulf of Mexico projects since 2001. The new agreement covers a period of up to 10 years. The contract calls for FMC to provide subsea trees, controls, manifolds, and well connection systems.

Talisman to drill more wells in new Alberta play

Talisman Energy Inc. reported on plans to drill eight additional wells in 2007 in the west-central Alberta Ram area, an emerging exploration play southwest of the company’s central Alberta Foothills structural play. The company reported that this new area’s initial discovery well, 12-20-38-13W5, tested gas from three zones at a combined rate of 17 MMcfd of gross raw gas. Follow-up drilling resulted in three successful wells that have potential in one or more zones and have, in aggregate, tested at more than 20 MMcfd gross raw gas. Talisman has a 100% working interest in more than 48,000 acres (76 sections) in the area. Engineering work has begun on the infrastructure required to bring this gas to market, with construction expected to begin in late 2006. Production is expected in third quarter 2007.

Industry vets create integrated energy and engineering company

Three industry veterans have joined to form a new integrated energy company. Rex Doyle, John Ippolito, and David Reynolds have founded EPiC Capital Group Inc., an integrated energy and engineering company focused on acquiring and developing oil and gas producing assets. EPiC began trading on the OTC Bulletin Board on October 25. EPiC’s focus is on optimizing mature producing assets with the majority of value in proven reserves and limited risk from exploration and drilling programs. EPiC intends to concentrate its efforts in the US onshore market including Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, the Mid-continent area, and the Rockies.

EV Energy to acquire properties in Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas

EV Energy Partners LP has signed agreements to acquire oil and gas properties in North Louisiana, East Texas, Western Oklahoma, and West Texas for $28.5 million from investment funds of Five States Energy Co. LLC, of Dallas. The properties to be acquired consist of 273 wells, have estimated proved reserves as of Oct. 1, 2006, of 14.4 bcfe, of which 62% is natural gas, and a reserves-to-production ratio of 13.6 years. Net daily production is approximately 3.1 MMcfe. EVEP will finance the acquisitions with its existing credit facility and intends to enter into arrangements to hedge a substantial portion of the acquired production volumes at closing.

Syntroleum secures $40MM committed equity financing facility

Syntroleum Corp. has received a commitment for up to $40 million in common stock equity financing from Azimuth Opportunity Ltd. Over the next 2 years, subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, Syntroleum may from time to time, at its discretion, sell registered shares of its common stock to Azimuth Opportunity at a discount to the market price. Net proceeds from any sale of the securities will be used for general corporate purposes. The total amount of shares Azimuth is committed to purchase is dependent, in part, on Syntroleum’s stock price at the time of sale, with Syntroleum controlling the amount and timing of stock sold. Syntroleum is not obligated to utilize any of the $40 million available under this agreement. The shares subject to the agreement will be issued pursuant to a shelf registration statement filed by Syntroleum with the SEC and declared effective on June 6, 2001.

PetroQuest sells Gulf of Mexico assets

PetroQuest Energy has closed the sale of its interests in 17 mature Gulf of Mexico fields to a private company for $17 million, subject to post-closing adjustments. The company also expects to receive future consideration upon the settlement of insurance claims associated with damage caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to the properties. Estimated proved reserves attributable to the properties totaled approximately 8.7 bcfe at closing, and the properties had a substantial near-term abandonment obligation.

Halliburton wins $59MM contract from Rosneft-YNG

Halliburton International Inc., Russia, has been awarded a $59 million contract by Rosneft-YNG for the provision of hydraulic fracturing services on the Right Bank of the Priobskoye field in Siberia. The scope of work includes providing services for 327 wells. Halliburton will execute the project in 2007 from its base in Poikovo, Nefteyugansk.

Devon to divest Egyptian assets

Devon Energy intends to divest its oil and gas assets and terminate its operations in Egypt. The company’s oil and gas production from Egypt is currently about 5,000 boe/d. Egypt represents less than 1% of both Devon’s companywide production and proved reserves. Devon obtained its assets in Egypt primarily through the acquisition of Ocean Energy in 2003. The assets to be offered include interests in 8 concessions, 4 in the Western Desert and 4 in the Gulf of Suez. Four of the concessions are producing. The concessions comprise approximately 3.7 million gross (1.8 million net) acres. The sale process will be managed for Devon by Scotia Waterous.

Isramco to acquire US oil and gas properties

Isramco Inc. has signed an agreement with Five States Energy Co. LLC, an unaffiliated US company, located in Dallas, to acquire certain oil and gas properties in Texas and New Mexico for $100 million. The properties to be purchased include about 660 producing oil and gas wells. Net income from the properties in the first 7 months of 2006 was about $11 million. Isramco has received engineering estimates indicating that its share of the proved developed reserves would be about 2 MM barrels of oil, 28 bcf of gas and 1.6 MM barrels of by-products of natural gas. Isramco intends to self-finance up to 15% of the purchase price and to finance the balance through loans. The terms of the transaction include a deposit of $3 million paid by Isramco. The remainder of the cost will be paid at closing, which is currently scheduled for January 20, 2007.

ACG to hold second Energy Private Equity Marketplace & Wine Tasting

Association for Corporate Growth Houston Chapter is holding the second annual Energy Private Equity Marketplace & Wine Tasting on January 16, 2006 from 5:30-8:00 at the River Oaks Country Club ballroom. The event is a networking opportunity that provides firms with exposure to professionals across the energy finance sector who are involved in mergers and acquisitions, fundraising, corporate growth, and strategic development. Last year the event saw over 400 attendees. Participating private equity groups will host tables showcasing premium wines, while event sponsors from the investment banking community and related service arenas will receive name recognition benefits and promotional opportunities. For more information contact Jeff Henningsen by email at [email protected] or by phone at (713) 458-5451; or Dawn Miller by email at [email protected] or by phone at (713) 342-7380.