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Atlas Buying Raton, Black Warrior, Arkoma Basin Assets

Atlas Energy LP (ATLS) exploration and production (E&P) subsidiary Atlas Resource Partners LP (ARP) is buying 466 Bcf of natural gas proved reserves in the Raton (New Mexico) and Black Warrior (Alabama) basins from EP Energy E&P Co. LP (EP Energy), a unit of EP Energy LLC, for $733 million.

Upon closing, the EP Energy assets are expected to provide ARP with accretive cash flow from a "substantial amount" of mature, low-declining natural gas production. The acquired properties represent 466 Bcf of natural gas proved reserves, of which 93% are proved developed. The assets currently produce 119 MMcf/d, which nearly doubles ARP's existing net production for May 2013.

"This acquisition is expected to be transformative for ARP, significantly expanding the breadth and scope of its E&P operations, increasing cash flow, and substantially de-risking its business. ATLS should likewise profit substantially from the multiple benefits of this transaction," said ATLS CEO Edward Cohen.

Additionally, ATLS will acquire 45 Bcf of natural gas proved reserves in the Arkoma Basin in southeastern Oklahoma from EP Energy for $67 million. The reserves are 100% natural gas, 100% proved developed and 97% operated with more than 550 wells generating about 13 MMcf/d of net production, the company said. The deal is effective May 1 and is expected to close during the third quarter.

ATLS provided full-year 2014 distribution guidance of $2.50-2.80/unit, representing a 115% increase compared to the most recent annualized distribution of $1.24 (31 cents/unit paid for the first quarter). ARP also provided full-year 2014 distribution guidance of at least $2.60/unit, which represents a 27% increase compared to the current annualized distribution of $2.04 (51 cents/unit for the first quarter).

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