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Denver E&P Emerges from Chapter 11 with 122,000 Net Acres in Williston Basin

Now emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, Denver-based Emerald Oil Inc. has hung on to its commitment to the Williston Basin, where the bulk of its assets reside in North Dakota and Montana.

A hearing is set for Dec. 20 before Judge Kevin Gross in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Wilmington, DE.

Operating under the new name of National Oil Production Co. and with new private equity majority owners Crestline Investors and Fir Tree Partners, the exploration and production (E&P) company dropped $278 million in long-term debt through Chapter 11, enabling it "to develop its assets in the Bakken shale and maximize the value of its leasehold."

At the end of 2015, the company reportedly had approximately 122,000 net acres in the Williston Basin in North Dakota and Montana, one of North America's largest shale oil concentrations. Emerald historically has primarily targeted the Middle Bakken and Three Forks formations in its development drilling.

In the past two years, the company has sold and protected assets with varying degrees of success, including securing $20 million in post-bankruptcy petition debtor-in-possession financing that allowed it to maintain operations during the Chapter 11 process.

National Oil has not disclosed the management team chosen to continue Emerald's Denver or North Dakota operations.

Crestline is an institutional alternative investment management firm based in Fort Worth, TX. New York City-based Fir Tree is an investment firm that has been involved with several companies looking to restructure or go through the bankruptcy process, including Plains Exploration & Production Co. The company also helped to design and lead the board design and selection process for Lehman Brothers, the largest bankruptcy in history.

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