Fort Worth, TX-based Range Resources Inc. has expanded its Barnett Shale holdings in sales agreements with a subsidiary of DTE Energy Co. and a private company for a total of $305 million. DTE earlier this month said it would sell some of its Barnett stake to an undisclosed buyer (see NGI, Dec. 10). The newly acquired properties are located in the Texas counties of Tarrant, Denton, Johnson, Ellis, Parker and Hill. Current production is 14 MMcfe/d, which is expected to increase to 18 MMcfe/d early next year when several newly drilled wells are placed in production, Range said. The company said the properties to be acquired now have 51 producing wells, and another 183 drilling locations have been identified. Proven and unproven reserves are estimated at 334 Bcfe. The combined transaction is expected to close in January, and Range intends to initially finance the purchase by drawing on its bank credit facility. However, it also has identified "several noncore properties" in its existing property base that it plans to sell next year to fund the acquisitions. Production from the acquired properties is expected to offset production lost through these property sales, Range said. The assets to be sold were not disclosed.

Spectra Energy is proposing a new natural gas gathering pipeline to connect the growing exploration in the Peace River area of northeastern British Columbia. The proposed in-service date is 3Q2009. The South Peace Pipeline would form an extension to Spectra's existing raw gas gathering system in the Fort St. John resource area of northeast British Columbia to an area south of Spectra's McMahon gas processing plant in Taylor, BC. Gas reserves connected to the South Peace Pipeline would be transported for processing at the McMahon plant. The 85-kilometer pipeline would have a transportation capacity of more than 220 MMcf/d. Construction costs were estimated at C$100 million (US$90 million). Spectra said discussions are continuing with potential customers to solidify contractual arrangements. By the time it files a formal application with the National Energy Board -- expected in the first three months of 2008 -- Spectra said it expects to have the pipeline capacity 100% contracted and commercial agreements in place. For information contact Troy Adams at (403) 699-1751.

The New York Mercantile Exchange Inc. (Nymex) said it plans to expand the listing of consecutive contract months for its natural gas (NG), natural gas swap (NN), and natural gas penultimate swap (NP) futures contracts to the current year plus the next 12 years through December 2020. The contracts are currently listed for the current contract year plus five additional years. "Nymex is providing market participants with unprecedented risk management opportunities," said Nymex CEO James E. Newsome. "No other energy exchange gives their customers the ability to trade so far out on the curve. We are gratified to provide innovative solutions to help the industry hedge its risk more than a decade into the future."

Arena Resources, Inc. added an estimated 8 million boe of proved reserves in West Texas through the $9 million acquisition of approximately 5,000 acres on two properties in Andrews County. In addition to current production from the San Andres and Queen formations, Arena secured the rights to the Yates gas formation throughout the acreage. The current net production from the properties is about 560 boe/d, weighted 15% gas and 85% oil, Arena said. The company's initial reserve estimates, as determined by internal engineering evaluations, indicate the properties have an estimated 8 million boe of proved reserves net to Arena, exclusive of any potential Yates gas reserves and any additional probable or possible oil reserves. Arena will be the operator and have a 100% working interest and average net revenue interest in excess of 75% in the properties. In addition to producing wells already on the properties, Arena said its engineering team has identified approximately 120 new drilling locations and potential for more through in-fill drilling and development. One of the properties is located in the Fuhrman-Mascho field immediately adjacent to an 11,300-acre parcel Arena acquired three years ago. Arena financed the deal, which closed Dec. 11 with an effective date of Dec. 1, through existing cash reserves and by drawing on a $150 million credit facility.

Houston-based Petrohawk Energy Corp. plans to acquire approximately 3,000 net acres in Elm Grove Field in Bossier and Caddo parishes, LA, from several private sellers for a total purchase price of approximately $169 million. The assets include approximately 83 Bcf of gas equivalent proved reserves -- 35% proved developed, 90% operated -- with net production of about 10 MMcf/d, the company said. The purchase is expected to qualify as a like-kind exchange for property sold in Petrohawk's recent Gulf Coast divestment (see Daily GPI, Oct. 17). Closing is expected by the end of January with an effective date of Jan. 1.

ExxonMobil Production Co. is soliciting bids to sell its operated interests in several Texas fields. In West Texas, fields included in the sale are Wink South (Winkler County), Yarbrough & Allen (Ector County), and Will-O (Val Verde County). The East Texas area fields include Giddings (Burleson, Lee, Grimes and Washington counties) and Pruitt Van (Van Zandt County). The Texas Panhandle field for sale is Lathem (Hartley County). Bids will be due March 2, and the effective date of the sale will be June 2. A compact disc containing sales instructions and sample agreements, accounting, geological engineering data and land descriptions will be available in mid-January. A data room will be open to prospective bidders in February. For more information contact Deborah Adams at (713) 656-5840 or Deborah.L.Adams@exxonmobil.com.

Williams Partners LP has completed its acquisition of certain membership interests in Wamsutter LLC, the limited liability company that owns the Wamsutter gas pipeline system, from Williams for $750 million. The Wamsutter system includes a 1,700-mile natural gas gathering system in the Washakie Basin in south-central Wyoming and the Echo Springs cryogenic processing plant near Wamsutter, WY. The partnership completed the transaction after successfully closing a public equity offering of 9.25 million common units that yielded net proceeds of $335.2 million.

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