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Sanchez Doubling Production With Eagle Ford Acquisition

Houston-based Sanchez Energy Corp. is buying producing acreage in the Eagle Ford Shale for $265 million that will more than double current company-wide production and increase proved reserves by 63%.

The properties, to be acquired from Hess Corp., consist of about 13.4 million boe of proved reserves, 4,500 boe/d of current production and about 43,000 net acres in Dimmit, Frio, LaSalle and Zavala counties in South Texas. Sanchez targets the Eagle Ford, Pearsall Shale, Austin Chalk and Buda Limestone.

"The Eagle Ford assets we are acquiring are highly strategic and accretive on a variety of metrics, and provide critical mass and scale for the company by significantly increasing our reserves and more than doubling our current production rate," said CEO Tony Sanchez. "Pro forma for the acquisition, our percentage of proved developed reserves, total producing wells and low-risk development drilling locations will each increase substantially, increasing our near-term growth opportunities, growing our resource potential while also increasing our financial flexibility and funding capacity."

The proposed acquisition includes estimated proved reserves of 13.4 million boe (70% oil) with estimated proved developed reserves of 6.6 million boe (64% oil). The properties currently have 50 gross operated producing wells and an estimated current net production of 4,500 boe/d (72% oil). The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter with an effective date of March 1, 2013, and is subject to customary closing conditions.

Sanchez has secured commitments for $325 million in debt financing and expects to access the capital markets in the near term, subject to market conditions and other factors, to finance the acquisition.

"Our current plans call for continuous drilling of development locations on this asset with one rig while we further assess the additional upside potential across the entire asset base," Sanchez said of the acreage being acquired. "We will initially focus on the development of the Eagle Ford section; however, this area is currently experiencing considerable Buda Limestone and Pearsall Shale activity from other operators which may provide us with additional potential growth opportunities."

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