Finance/Companies news briefs, Dec. 7

M-I � Bolland & Cia � DP Charters � TriLucent Technologies � National Energy Board � Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board � Gulf Canada Resources � Southeastern Asset Management � Westcoast Energy � Singapore Petroleum � Tiger Oil � Star Oil & Gas Acquisition � Place Resources � Proprietary Industries � Invader Exploration � Keystone Silver Mines � Scope Industries � MacDonald Oil Exploration � Bresea Resources � and more

M-I LLC will acquire the drilling fluids and solids control assets of Bolland & Cia, a privately-held company based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for an undisclosed amount. Bolland provides a variety of oilfield services to the southern Latin American market. It generated 1999 revenues of $25 million in the drilling fluids and solids control product lines. Bolland had previously operated as M-I's distributor for drilling fluids products in the Argentinean market. M-I is 60%-owned by Smith International Inc. and 40% by Schlumberger Ltd.

DP Charters Inc., Capistrano Beach, Calif., said Wednesday it will acquire TriLucent Technologies Inc., a developmental resource firm specializing in oil and gas exploration. TriLucent has an exclusive license to certain exploration technologies. The company plans to change its name to TriLucent Technologies Corp.

Canada�s National Energy Board (NEB) and the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board have signed an agreement to cooperate on environmental assessments of northern resource development projects. NEB chair Ken Vollman said the agreement is the first major step to establish a general working framework between the boards and will contribute to timely and effective environmental impact assessment of projects subject to NEB jurisdiction in the Mackenzie Valley.

Gulf Canada Resources Ltd., Calgary, has begun a stock buy-back program for up to 27 million shares, about 5%, on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Southeastern Asset Management of Memphis, Tenn., Gulf�s largest shareholder with about 13%, is reported to have pushed for a buy-back program. Gulf has also filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to sell up to $750 million (US) in securities.

Westcoast Energy Inc., Vancouver, BC, says it will spend $725 million (Can.) in 2001, a 44% drop from the $1.3 billion planned this year. The pipeline company said spending will be down because most of its major capital projects are nearing completion. The company said after a multi-year expansion program, spending is returning to near normal levels.

Singapore Petroleum Co. Ltd. has acquired a 40.2% interest in Tiger Oil Corp. (TOC), an independent petroleum marketer in South Korea, for $28.8 million (Sing.). TOC is due to expand its retail network from 35 stations to 120 stations by the end of 2001, and 20 to 30 stations/year in the future. The stations will carry the joint brands of the SPC lion and TOC tiger emblems.

Star Oil & Gas Ltd. subsidiary Star Oil & Gas Acquisition Ltd., said its extended takeover offer for stock of Place Resources Corp., Calgary, will result in its purchase of 89% of Place's shares. Place Resources has agreed to a $45 million (Can.) takeover offer by Star, a Calgary subsidiary of United Co., of Bristol, Va. Star will pay $3/share for 15.05 million Place Resources shares, a 43% premium over recent trading values (OGJ Online, Oct. 12, 2000).

Proprietary Industries Inc., Calgary, has acquired 5.4 million common shares of Invader Exploration Inc. Proprietary now owns 10.4 million shares of Invader or 52.7% of Invader's issued and outstanding shares. It also holds warrants entitling it to purchase an additional 5 million common shares of Invader within 2 years.

Keystone Silver Mines Inc. has changed its name to Scope Industries Inc., effective as of Monday. Keystone explores for oil and gas, mainly in the US midcontinent.

MacDonald Oil Exploration Ltd., Calgary, has launched a share exchange takeover bid for Bresea Resources Ltd., Calgary. The offer is 5 MacDonald Oil shares and 2.5 warrants for each Bresea share tendered. The offer is subject to a number of conditions including that there be no material adverse change in Bresea's affairs, as well as shareholder and regulatory approvals.

Eni SPA and Energia Gas SPA, a subsidiary of CIR Group, have signed a 24-year take-or-pay contract in which Energia Gas will receive 2 billion cu m/year of gas from Libya beginning in 2004. With this contract, Eni has completed the allocation of Libyan gas destined for export, which will total 8 billion cu m/year. Agip North Africa BV and Libyan state-owned National Oil Corp. will produce the gas. A gas pipeline will be completed during the project's next phase. Other recipients of that gas include Edison Gas, with 4 billion cu m/year and Gaz de France, with 2 billion cu m.

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