Adding to its Rocky Mountain production portfolio while creating efficiencies within the region, Bill Barrett Corp. said Thursday that it has entered into an agreement to purchase Fort Worth, TX-based CH4 Corp. — which has significant acreage in a Powder River Basin coalbed methane (CBM) play — for $80 million, subject to customary adjustments for working capital changes and other matters.

CH4 Corp. has approximately 85,500 gross undeveloped acres (51,900 net undeveloped acres) in the play, including acreage in the Hartzog Draw area. Currently, the acquired properties are producing approximately 6 MMcf/d (net) from 163 gross producing wells. Another 128 gross wells are in progress or dewatering. Denver-based Bill Barrett estimates that proved reserves are 11 Bcf and probable and possible reserves are 50.4 Bcf as of the effective date of the acquisition, March 1, 2006.

CH4 is a portfolio company of Natural Gas Partners, which is an affiliate of NGP Energy Capital Management based in Irving, TX that invests in all sectors of the energy industry.

Bill Barrett estimated future development costs for these properties to be $44.5 million, of which an estimated $14.7 million will be spent in 2006. The company expects to close the acquisition in early May and fund it through borrowings under its recently expanded $400 million revolving credit facility.

“We are excited about the acquisition of these lower risk CBM properties that provide us with long-term production and reserve growth and complement our portfolio of premier Rockies development and exploration projects,” said Bill Barrett Corp. CEO Fredrick J. Barrett. “This acquisition provides us with greater critical mass and efficiencies in the Powder River Basin and enhances the value of our position in the area. In addition to proved, probable and possible reserves, we believe there may be further upside potential with multi-seam completions and the completion of secondary coals. We have all of the necessary permits and approvals to begin drilling this program immediately.”

Barrett added that excluding the acquisition price, “we do not plan to increase our 2006 capital budget above $350 million. We plan to update our 2006 guidance with our first quarter earnings release in early May.”

Fred Barrett will be one of several featured speakers appearing at GasMart 2006, May 3-5 in Denver (

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